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Legarda: SUCs Received Higher Funding For Research Programs & Infrastructure Dev’t

January 20, 2016

Recognizing the vital role of education in nation building and economic development, Senator Loren Legarda, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, said they have augmented the budget of state universities and colleges (SUCs) to support research programs and infrastructure building and to ensure the continuous upgrade of the country’s education system.

“Education is one of the sectors that greatly need continuous improvement. The deficiencies in our educational system can be addressed with proper and directed funding mechanisms. The augmented budget of SUCs can produce significant improvements in both access to and quality of education,” Legarda stressed.

She added, “Increasing the budget of SUCs will help produce a workforce that will support our industries and companies which, in turn, propel the country to inclusive growth and global competitiveness.”

Legarda said that all SUCs received additional funding for 2016, which will be used for academic buildings, equipment and the Tulong Dunong Program. Budget for SUCs increased to P2.7 Billion, which includes P504.7 Million additional funding for the University of the Philippines System for the construction of student dormitories, faculty housing and school buildings; and increased budget for the Philippine Normal University (PNU) in the amount of P197.5 Million for its modernization on the basis of Republic Act 9647.

Legarda also introduced special provisions in the 2016 national budget that would ensure the integration of disaster and climate resilience, environmental and heritage conservation, and sustainability in the programs of SUCs. The budget includes, among others, funding for Mapping and Inventory of Biodiversity, National Greening Programs and Integration of Disaster Management in the curriculum.

The SUCs, in coordination with their respective local government units (LGUs), should include in its research program the mapping and inventory of the biodiversity of the province where the main campus of the SUC is located. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), on the other hand, shall provide the necessary technical assistance to the SUCs.

Under the National Greening Program, all SUCs shall coordinate with the DENR for the establishment of nurseries including clonal nurseries, the conduct of forest research, and mangrove reforestation activities and other similar activities under the national greening program.

SUCs are also mandated to ensure that climate change, disaster risk reduction and management and environmental awareness and protection are integrated in their school curricula, including the National Service Training Program (NSTP). Indigenous knowledge systems pertaining to agriculture, environment and cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, shall further be taught and promoted.