Drillon says no actual cut in the budget of 112 state universities and colleges
By Jason de Asis

 
SENATE OFFICE, Manila, November 27, 2010-Senator Franklin Drilon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee clarified yesterday that there was no actual cut in the budget of the country’s 112 state universities and colleges (SUCs) which he is currently deliberating the proposed P1.645 trillion national outlay.

Drilon said that the budget for SUCs in the 2010 budget was loaded with congressional insertions which were not actually released due to the widening budget gap expected to reach P325 billion by year end.

“There was no way by which these additional amounts could have been released because there were no additional revenues,” Drilon said, adding that Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had issued a conditional veto indicating that the release of the increased items of appropriations is subject to the identification by Congress of new revenue measures.
 
He said that the senate did not remove anything and the truth is the 2010 budget embedded congressional insertions in the amount of over P2.8 billion pesos wherein the congressional initiatives came from realignments from debt service interest payments due to disagreements in the rate of peso and dollar exchange.
 
From only P19.6 billion pesos submitted by Arroyo for congressional approval, the subsidies to SUCs have been increased in 2011 budget to P21.7 billion pesos. A total of 2.8 billion has been padded as congressional insertions by lawmakers when the 2010 budget was approved bringing 22.4 billion total budgeted for SUCs.
 
“President Aquino III submitted to Congress P21.7 billion for SUC subsidies in the 2011 budget. Pres. Aquino’s budget for 2011 increased Arroyo’s budget by P2.125 billion for SUCs except that the congressional insertions were not continued. These are insertions which could not be possibly sustained,” Drilon explained. (Jason de Asis)