Press Release
October 6, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged Dr. Patricia Licuanan of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to create a central government institution that will provide affordable and accessible financial assistance to both students and teachers, including capital outlay for the construction of laboratories and buildings for both private and public schools.

"We need to look for a long-term, and not just band-aid, solutions to the perennial problem we face every year during budget deliberations: lack of funds for capital outlay, and unrest among students because of yearly tuition increase," said Angara during today's budget hearing. The national government has not allotted budget for capital outlay for State Universities and Colleges (SUC's) for the past few years.

Angara, who Chairs the Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, suggested to look into the possibility of working with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Land Bank to finance this program.

"We can ask the national government to provide a seed capital of P5 Billion so our government banks can setup a window that will provide assistance for the twin needs of financial assistance and capital outlay," he explained, adding that such programs have been setup in Latin America, and can be replicated in the country.

He further explained that such money is available through government banks, "The DBP has P9 Billion in reserves while the Land Bank earns P2 Billion a year. They are government banks after all, and instead of keeping this much money, we must spread the benefit to those who need it."

Angara stressed the urgency of these initiatives, explaining that such a program could provide students, teachers and schools with assistance throughout the year. "If we are able to do this, then we will be able to stabilize higher education in the country."

CHED Chair Licuanan expressed her support of the suggestion, and committed to study the creation of the said office.

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