Apayao students suffer in 37% budget cut

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LUNA, Apayao – Concerned sectors in the province raised alarm over the 37 percent drop in the budget of the State-run Apayao State College (ASC) next year which will be detrimental in the continuous upliftment of the performance of its students.

Based on data obtained from the Cordillera Office of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), ASC will be receiving a budget of P114.27 million in 2019 which is 37 percent lower than the P169.19 million budget of the higher education institution this year.

Sources, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal from the present administration, explained that if the national budget will be re-enacted, ASC will have a budget for maintenance and operating expenses (MOOE) amounting to P43 million which will be similar to its MOOE allocation this year.

The source added that it will be the decreasing number of students who will be made to suffer for the projected zero capital outlay for the institution by next year considering that there will be no significant developments that will be implemented in the school during the year.

Previously, ASC was next to the Ifugao State University (IFSU) in terms of its 8 percent increase in budget in 2018 or from P161.33 million in 2017 to P174,66 million this year and that the said increase was said to be performance-based aside from the fact that ASC’s budget had consistently increased over the last 4 years since 2014 during the term of the previous administration.

Further, ASC had also been performing well in research while it opted to upgrade its academic performance through the focus of the former administration to quality assurance like accreditation and upgrading of its existing facilities.

The source disclosed that 2017 and 2018 should have been the peak of the ongoing construction of support facilities like those buildings planned for the two campuses which eventually stopped due to the alleged incompetence of those who currently handle and manage the said projects and that the institution is now paying the prize of changing experienced engineers who were at their momentum in helping ASC move on to greater heights.

On the other hand, ASC placed second to Benguet State University (BSU) among the CAR state universities and colleges as per the February 2017 data as per approved copyrights, utility models, and commercialized technologies but the public is seeking the investigation of the resignation of key officials of the institution from their designations.

The source asserted that officials and the people of Apayao were aware of the performance of the previous administration and that the issue on the non-renewal of the previous president remains unresolved.

According to them, the people of Apayao are reportedly disgruntled over the performance of the present administration, especially in firing people without first meeting them and ascertaining the best options to be undertaken while the 2019 budget remains to be enacted.

ASC stakeholders expressed their gratitude to the previous administration for a remarkable performance, especially in the consistent increase in the institution’s annual budget while challenging the present administration to be circumspect in decision-making.

By HENT

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