By Billy Begas
Four State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) have zero budget under the proposed 2022 national budget.
House Deputy Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman and Anak Mindanao Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan have filed House Resolution 2251 urging the leadership of the House of Representatives and the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) to provide the funding for the operation of Adiong Memorial Polytechnic State College, Cotabato State University, Sulu State College, and the Tawi-Tawi Regional Agricultural College.
“These SUCs which have existed before creation of BARMM, and their charters provide that their funding requirements shall be provided by the national government,” the resolution read.
Under the Organic Law for the BARMM, any school, college or university shall be deemed integral components of the educational system of the region.
However, the lawmakers pointed out that the outright removal of funding by the national government will seriously threaten, not only the operation but the very existence of these SUCs.
They said the zero funding will displace thousands of students, teachers and personnel in these institutions.
The solons also pointed out that zero funding is contrary to the Constitutional guarantee that the State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education and the objective of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (RA 10931).
“These explicit Constitutional and statutory mandates will be defeated if the national government ceases to provide budget appropriation to institutions of higher learning in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region,” the resolution further read.