A lawmaker is asking the Department of Budget and Management to give the Commission on Higher Education access to the unprogrammed funds of the 2023 GAA so CHED can augment its Tertiary Education Subsidy funds for college students in private colleges and universities.
Rep. Alexie B. Tutor, chair of the House Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulations, is also a House Committee on Higher and Technical Education member. Her access request to DBM seeks to address the increase in tuition and other fees in private colleges and universities.
“All these five solutions need only administrative action on the part of the executive branch agencies. These do not need laws from Congress. These solutions can ease the pressure on private schools to increase their fees through direct and indirect subsidies that will ultimately benefit their students. These solutions can avert the fee hikes because funds would be going to the private schools for performing the public service of providing education to the youth,” Tutor explained.
Tutor requested both CHED and DBM “to make sure there are no more shortfalls in the CHED funds for the TES and other forms of scholarships and student financial assistance from 2024 onwards, no more repeat of what happened to TES in the 2023 national budget.”
The lawmaker also suggested to the DBM that it “give CHED expanded access to its Higher Education Development Fund to enable the CHED to extend and expand capacity-building funding to centers of excellence, centers of development, and private colleges and universities granted autonomous status and deregulated status.”
Other solutions Tutor had in mind included tapping Social Security System and the PAG-IBIG Fund to improve access to the salary loan program and multipurpose loan program, respectively, “so it would be easier for their members to avail of these loans during college enrolment time.”
“I ask both the CHED and the Anti-Red Tape Authority to solve the perennial delays in releasing the CHED funds for the TES, student scholarships, and financial assistance,” Tutor added.