Friday, February 28, 2014

Higher Education gets P1.05-B boost

From the Website of GPH - Government of the Philippines

Higher Education gets P1.05-B boost

Secretary Abad: Fund release includes P485M for scholarships

In line with President Benigno S. Aquino III’s commitment to advance higher education in the country, the Aquino administration—through the Department of Budget and Management (DBM)—has given the go signal for the release of P1.05 billion to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for the provision of college scholarships nationwide, as well as the implementation of the agency’s key programs and projects.

The release was charged against CHED’s Higher Education Development Fund (HEDF) under the Special Account in the General Fund (Fund 151.

“This latest release to CHED not only boosts our efforts to expand the development of higher education in the country. In very practical terms, these funds will allow the government to provide ample financial support to promising students all over the country, many of whom have a difficult time paying for their tuition from one semester to the next. This means we’ll have more high school graduates proceeding to college and gaining the skill-sets necessary to their chosen careers,” Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said.

“When the Aquino administration abolished the Priority Assistance Development Fund (PDAF), we needed to find a way to ensure the government’s continuous aid to scholars who previously benefited from legislator-endorsed projects. We couldn’t simply halt the scholarships just because we struck out the PDAF from the National Budget. The clear solution was to allocate the funds to CHED so we could maintain tuition assistance to deserving college students in need,“ he added.

Scholars from Region IV-A will corner the biggest portion of the P484.8-million release with an allocation of P57.8 million. Not far behind are the allocations for Regions III and VI, with P42.8 million and P40.6 million, respectively, as well as the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which bagged a P40-million appropriation in CHED scholarships.
“Having successfully brokered a peace deal with the Bangsamoro in January this year, the Administration is determined to ramp up public service delivery in ARMM communities to fast-track their growth. Part of that drive is opening up more opportunities for Bangsamoro youth to complete their tertiary education, so they can look forward to a future of greater economic empowerment,” Abad said.

Aside from the provision for scholarships, the P1.05-billion release will also support CHED’s nationwide roll-out of institutional development initiatives (P234.3 million); rationalization of programs, standards, and guidelines (P114.5 million); and various research and development programs (P214.4 million), all of which are slated for implementation this year.

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