Aquino gov’t suffering from ‘liarrhea,’
Youth group Anakbayan slammed Malacanang and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for “lies and cover-up” in reaction to recent statements that budget for state universities and colleges (SUCs) was increased.
Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan national chairperson and Kilos Na Laban sa Budget Cuts convenor called the DBM secretary “Abad liar” and said that the “Aquino gov’t and its spokespersons are suffering from ‘liarrhea.’ They keep on spweing crappy lies.”
“The National Expenditure Program (NEP), available in the DBM website clearly indicates a decrease in the direct allocation for SUCs. Whatever they are saying does not reflect on official budget for SUCs submitted to congress,” he said.
(Click here to view NEP for SUCs via DBM website: http://www.dbm.gov.ph/NEP2012/SUCS/SUCS.pdf)
Crisostomo said that fifty schools will have their total budget slashed by a combined P569.8 million, 45 will have cuts in their MOOE funds by P250.9 million, and 58 will have cuts in Personal Services (PS) by P403.3 million. Budget allotted for Capital Outlay is zero.
He said that the funds the government claims to have “added” to SUCs are not directly allotted to them and will not be under the control of the schools.
“As admitted by Abad, the P500 million allotted for CHED is ‘to make sure that the curricula of SUCs are focused on the priority areas for economic development.’ This means that CHED funds are conditional — to say that these will compensate for cuts in the MOOE for schools is grossly misleading. Abad also uses the same tactic to cover up the zero allotment for capital outlay of SUCs,” said Crisostomo.
Crisostomo also said that part of the “increase” is actually allocated under the Miscellaneaous Personnel Benefits Funds (MPBF), which the DBM has the sole discretion to disburse. The MPBF has previously been assailed as “dictatorial” by senators and the judiciary.
He said that the MPBF scheme, which is supposedly allocated for personal services, “technically and practically removes from SUCs the prerogative to allot the meager funds to where they are truly needed.”
“This puts SUCs at the mercy of the DBMs bureaucratic caprice and whims,” he said.
In a statement, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said that the lump sum funds allotted to CHED and the MPBF should be directly allotted to SUCs.
(Read APC statement here: http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2011/0922_cayetanoa2.asp)
“It is a lump sum, it has the possibility of being used as a pork barrel of maybe Malacanang, or maybe CHED. Bakit hindi nalang natin kunin yung P500M at ibigay directly sa mga SUCs? Why would they have to plead with CHED for them to implement programs na magaganda?” he said.
Cayetano said he supports the SUCs call for higher state subsidy and will push for amendments during the Senate hearing.
“Look at the statistics. They’re right. We’re wrong. Sila ang tama na dapat dagdagan ang pondo, at ang gobyerno ang mali na hindi dinadagdagan ang pondo,” he said.
The Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges has requested P45 billion for 2012, government only proposed P21 billion.
Valte should go back to school
Anakbayan also rebuffed the suggestion of Presidetial spokesperson Abigail Valte for the students to “focus on their studies” instead of protesting.
“Students should focus on studies? Valte should focus on her make-up. The trying hard private-school groomed brats in Malacanang do not know what they are talking about. Maybe she should go back to school to learn humility and honesty,” Crisostomo said.
Crisostomo said that government should just “correct its crime” instead of “making excuses and lying.”
“Lying and covering up will only make mattters worse. We call on DBM and congress to restore the direct cuts for 2012 and 2011, and increase the funds for SUCs substantially. Numbers-gimmickry and technocrat jargon cannot belie the fact that budget allocation for SUCs is unjustly insufficient while funds for debt servicing, military, corruption, privatization and dole-outs enjoy the biggest chunks of the pie,” he said.