11 December 2013
Sen. Pia hails inclusion of P1-B capital outlay for UP in P2.2-T budget for 2014; P275-M also added as capital outlay for PGH
Senator Pia S. Cayetano today welcomed the inclusion of a P1-billion allocation for the capital outlay of the University of the Philippines (UP) in the consolidated version of the P2.264-trillion proposed national budget for 2014 that was adopted by the Senate on Wednesday.
“This is a welcome development for the UP community. With its capital outlay raised to P1 billion from zero, UP would have a fund to work with next year to support the completion and rehabilitation of classrooms, buildings and laboratories, and to establish research centers and other facilities in its various campuses in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,” said Cayetano, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture.
“I thank the leadership of the Senate and House for considering our proposal to augment UP’s funding.”
Additionally, she said the approved version included a P275-million funding for the capital outlay of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), another vital public institution which subsists on meager state subsidies.
“The additional P275 million makes up barely a third of the P900 million that PGH originally requested for its budget next year. This wouldn’t be enough, considering that the poor depend on the PGH for medical care and hospitalization.”
“I am disappointed, but I remain hopeful that we could find other sources of funding to support the operations of the PGH and public health care in general, such as the incremental revenues from the Sin Tax Reform Law. I will file a resolution to look into the status of these funds which were earmarked by Congress when it passed this law, precisely to improve public health services and facilities.”
She clarified: “It should be noted that the sin tax is not meant to take the place of funding for health care, but to augment existing funding provided in the General Appropriations Act.”
Aside from the capital outlay for UP and PGH, Cayetano said the 2014 budget approved for the Commission on Higher Education included a P2.5-billion capital outlay fund that has been itemized for several State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) across the country, and a separate P2.5 billion fund to support scholars. #
Symbol of hope: The Oblation statue remains standing amid the debris at the UP Tacloban campus which was devastated by super typhoon Yolanda. (Photo courtesy of the UP Visayas College in Tacloban City)