Put money into SUCs, not CCT! – Anakbayan
Youth group Anakbayan today reiterated its opposition to the increase of funding for a government dole-out program, proposing that the money instead go to State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) who will receive a P400 million budget cut in the proposed 2011 national budget. On the other hand, the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program which was initiated under President Noynoy Aquino’s predecessor, will see its funding rise from P10 billion to P21 billion.
“The desire to send more children to school, which is the supposed motive behind expanding CCT, contradicts the Administration’s heartless proposal for SUCs (State Universities and Colleges) to hike their tuition and other fees next year” said Anakbayan spokesperson Charisse Bañez.
In response to a spate of student protests against proposed budget cuts to SUCs next year, including a massive walkout and a lightning rally inside Aquino’s 100-days-report town hall meeting, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a radio interview that the affected schools should increase their tuition and other fees instead.
“It’s ironic that the Administration says it wants to send more kids to school, yet they are discouraging them to do so by encouraging tuition hikes” said Bañez.
“If Noynoy is serious about sending more kids to school, he should rechannel the P10 billion, or even the whole P21 billion, to education and other health services. In fact, should they do so, they can make education in SUCs free next year” added the youth leader.
Bañez cited data from the Kabataan Partylist which showed that SUCs generated P7.78 billion from tuition and other fees this year. She said that should this amount be subsidized by the national government, it would allow SUCs to not charge any tuition and other fees next school year.
Meanwhile, the Anakbayan leader announced that the demand for an additional P7.78 billion for SUC funds, instead of the budget cut, will be the rallying cry in a series of campus strikes across the country when college classes resume on November.