Anakbayan refutes admin claims of lack of funds for education, vows more protests
Youth group Anakbayan dismissed today claims by Dept. of Budget and Management secretary Butch Abad that there is a shortage of funds available for the education sector, calling them ‘pure hogwash’.
“The Aquino administration is awash in money. The only problem is that the wrong people are on the receiving end: corrupt politicians, military death squads, and foreign lenders” said Anakbayan spokesperson Charisse Bañez.
In response to a nationwide walkout of students against education budget cuts yesterday, in which more than two thousand students in Metro Manila participated, Abad released a memorandum which claimed that the Aquino administration suffers from a scarcity of funds.
97 out of the 112 state colleges and universities nationwide are facing a combined cut of P1.1 billion in their maintenance and operating budget. The University of the Philippines will receive the biggest reduction, at P1.39 billion or 20.11%, followed by the Phil. Normal University, with P91.35 billion or 23.59%.
The youth leader cited data released by the Office of Congressman Raymond Palatino (Partylist, Kabataan):
Pork barrel for 2010: P10 billion; for 2011: P24 billion
Dept. of National Defense budget for 2010: P96 billion; for 2011: P104 billion
Gov’t interest payments for 2010: P329 billion; Gov’t interest payments for 2011: P359 billion
“There is no way in hell that Abad and his boss can claim that there is a scarcity of funds. It is common sense and compassion for the Filipino youth which is in short supply in the Aquino administration” said Bañez.
Meanwhile, the Anakbayan leader vowed that there will be more and bigger protests should the administration continue its proposed budget cuts.
“Yesterday’s storming of Mendiola will look like a simple dinner party if Aquino does adequately fund the education sector. The hundreds of thousands of youths whose right to education will be deprived by the budget cuts will turn the streets into impromptu classes” she said.