Noynoy contradicting himself, resorting to lies in defending education budget cuts – Anakbayan
“A mix of technicalities and outright lies” was how youth group Anakbayan described the latest statement by President Noynoy Aquino on the 2011 education budget cuts.
In the statement dated Oct. 19, Aquino claimed that there is actually a budget hike, instead of a budget cut, because congressional insertions increased the 2010 SUC budget by P2.845 billion. He concluded that the insertions should not be counted, thus justifying the claim of a budget hike.
Anakbayan spokesperson Charisse Bañez however cited a presidential statement last Aug. 24 2010 in which Aquino himself said “We allocated P23.4 billion to 112 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in 2011. This is 1.7 percent lower than the P23.8 billion budget for 2010”.
“A budget cut is still a budget cut, no matter how you look at it” said the youth leader.
Aside from the overall budget cut of P400 million, she also noted that the operating budget for SUCs will be slashed by P1.1 billion, while the budget for constructing new buildings and facilities is at zero pesos.
Bañez also blasted the president for ‘pitting basic and college education against each other’.
In the Oct. 19 statement, Aquino said the P32 billion added funding for the Dept. of Education is ‘proof’ that his administration is prioritizing education.
“Even if you combine the DepEd and SUCs budgets, it will only equal 3% of our GDP, a far cry from the 6% GDP-amount advocated by the United Nations” referring to a recommendation by the UN Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) that countries should spend at least 6% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the education sector.
She also quoted former Education secretary Mona Valisno who said that the 2010 DepEd budget needs at least P100 billion to eliminate shortages of teachers, classrooms, seats, textbooks, and scholarships.
“What is there to be thankful for? P30 billion is not P100 billion. We are still looking at shortages of 93599 teachers, 134400 classrooms, and 63 million textbooks”.
However, the youth leader’s most severe criticism was saved for what she called ‘the most blatant lie’ in the statement.
In his press release, Aquino defended the P1.39 billion budget cut to the University of the Philippines, saying “Kumikita na po ang UP-Ayala Technohub, dagdag pa sa kita ng pamantasan mula sa tuition ng mga estudyante, at sa suportang ibinibigay ng estado”.
The youth leader however cited a report in the 18 Feb. 2009 issue of the Phil. Collegian, UP Diliman’s student publication, which showed that UP will only earn a total of P4 billion for the entire 25 years that the UP lands along Commonwealth Ave. will be leased to the Ayala Land corporation.
“Noynoy is so desperate to defend the indefensible that he is now making fantastic claims” said Bañez.