Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III
Vice President for Public Affairs
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has officially released a statement that the University of the Philippines “is set to receive a P3.9-billion increase in (its) budget, raising (the) total 2013 allocation to P10 billion.” This is 63 percent more than the 2012 UP budget of P6.2 billion as provided for in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) passed last year. The DBM also announced that “the 2013 budget for State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) was raised by P11.3 billion to P37.1 billion, up by 44 percent from their 2012 budget.”
As regards the 2013 UP budget, DBM gives the following details: “(Capital Outlay) support rose from P190 million in 2012 to P1.45 billion, while the allocation for Personal Services was pegged at P6.5 billion, up by P1.2 billion from this year… (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses) activities under UP will receive a 188.2 percent boost amounting to P2 billion, which will cover research and other related activities for the university’s nationwide campuses. The remaining amount will be devoted to retirement and life insurance premium (RLIP) support for faculty and staff.” A footnote points out that the stated Personnel Services amount “does not include unfilled positions.”
For this year, an additional P1.3 billion for Capital Outlay was allocated to UP through the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) as part of the Disbursement Acceleration Plan (DAP) of President Aquino. The combined GAA budget and additional DAP allocation from the Disbursement Acceleration Fund resulted in a total government funding to UP of about P7 billion for 2012 (excluding unfilled positions).
UP President Alfredo Pascual acknowledges the support of Malacañang, DBM and CHED in increasing the 2013 budget for the country’s national university. According to Pascual “the dramatic increase in UP’s budget shows that the national leadership has recognized that UP is worth investing in.” He explains, “Money given to UP is not an expense but an investment in the country’s human capital and knowledge base. UP contributes to national development by producing leaders in various fields, expert manpower needed by industry and higher education, plus research outputs that drive innovation and national competitiveness. UP also makes use of the knowledge and expertise of its faculty and staff to deliver public service.”
As the national university, UP is mandated by its charter of 2008 (RA 9500) to “perform its unique and distinctive leadership in higher education and development”.
“The increased budget”, says Pascual, “will help UP to strengthen its research capability; modernize its technological infrastructure; repair its aging physical facilities; recruit, develop, and retain the best faculty and staff; improve support for its students; deepen its public service; and reclaim its standing as a center of learning in Asia and the world.”
“The leadership of President Aquino, coupled with committed support from CHED Chair Patricia Licuanan and DBM Secretary Butch Abad, is responsible for the biggest ever increase in the UP budget and we thank the PNoy administration for this decisive action,” adds Pascual.
Written by Danilo Arao