Press Release
September 20, 2019


Sen. Francis "Tol" Tolentino has recently called for the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to be more proactive in helping state universities and colleges in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) so that they can improve their performance and attract more students.

"Nakalimutan na ang SUCs sa BARMM. We should be more proactive in addressing their needs, even before they come to you for help," Tolentino told CHED during the commission's budget hearing.

There are five SUCs in BARMM which lack the sufficient support and have no plans to enable it to upgrade, according to CHED Commissioner Prospero E. De Vera III.

He also noted that the enrollment rate therein has gone down as students in BARMM would rather go to other regions to obtain higher learning.

"Bakit kailangan pa pumunta ng isang estudyante sa Zamboanga o Pagadian, para mag-aral kung mayroon namang State Universities and Colleges sa lugar nila? Katatag pa lamang nitong BARMM, dapat sabayan din natin sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay din ng magandang kalidad ng edukasyon sa mga lugar na sakop nito" Tolentino added.

Representatives from the SUCs in BARMM expressed their desire for more support from the government to be reflected in their budgets.

In particular, the Sulu State University, had been receiving zero budget for its capital outlay for two years now and will get the same in 2020.

They believe that with more government support, they can also entice more students to study in the SUCs within BARMM.

Sen. Tolentino assured them that President Rodrigo N. Duterte has already created a group which will focus on strengthening BARMM, including the higher education sector therein.

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