Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero called on government scholars to report anomalies on the use of the budget allocation of state universities and colleges (SUCs).
Escudero made the statement when told by a student at the “Ang Pagsusuri: Vice Presidential Forum” at the University of the Philippines-Diliman in Quezon City recently about the alleged manipulation of the budget of some SUCs.
He urged student representatives sitting in the governing boards of SUCs to be vigilant and scrutinize the budget of their schools and report fund misuse to authorities.
“Alam ko lahat ng SUCs may student representative sa board. Sana magamit ng inyong kinatawan, yung inyong representative sa board para malaman kung may katiwalian,” Escudero said.
“At kung hindi niyo kakayaning labanan iyon, ipagbigay-alam niyo po sa amin at magiging katuwang niyo kami sa pakikipaglaban sa katiwaliang nagaganap sa mga SUCs,” he added.
The former chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance deplored the alleged misuse of budgets of SUCs, saying that it is tantamount to stealing the future of government scholars.
The independent vice-presidential bet, who is leading all nationwide pre-election surveys, has been pushing for the imposition of maximum penalty for the misuse of funds allotted for calamity and education.
“Sobra naman iyon. Kinabukasan na ng mga kabataan natin at nasalanta na nga ng bagyo, nanakawin pa yung perang nakalaan para doon,” he said.
Under the proposed P3.002 trillion budget for 2016, SUCs will receive a total subsidy of P44.67 billion. The amount is P2.39 billion higher than the P42.28 billion allocation for SUCs this year.
While the Senate grants an across-the-board increase to all SUCs yearly, those which observe fiscal discipline under the standards set by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Commission on Audit (COA) are given bigger amount of subsidies, according to Escudero.
“Across the board ang dinagdag po ng Senado sa lahat ng SUCs pero yung nagpa-practice ngfiscal discipline at yung nagpapakita ng malinis na paggo-gobyerno ng kanilang pondo, dinagdagan po namin sila ng mas malaking pondo dahil nga maayos yung kanilang practice at naaayon sa standards ng CHED at sa standards din ng COA,” he explained.