MANILA, Philippines – Bulk of the Commission on Higher Education's (CHED) proposed 2016 budget will be allocated for a transition program that will mitigate the impact of the K to 12 program on the tertiary education sector.
CHED is asking for P10.53 billion ($225.63 million)* for 2016 – a huge jump from the approved P3.40-billion ($72.85 million) budget in 2015.
From the proposed budget, P8.28 billion ($177.42 million) will be allocated for the commission's K to 12 Transition Program, which has 5 components:
Funding for the transition program will be sourced from the following:
Higher education institutions expect a drop in their freshman enrollment in 2016 due to the full implementation of senior high school under the K to 12, which will add two years to the high school program.
This will affect college workers, as CHED's latest estimates showed that 13,634 teaching staff and 11,456 non-teaching staff may be displaced. (READ: College professors fear massive retrenchment due to K to 12)
During CHED's budget hearing at the House of Representatives on Wednesday, August 26, ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio reminded the commission that the budget allocation for K to 12 should be used to keep college workers from being displaced.
"Kailangang gamitin ang anumang pondo ng gobyerno bilang incentive para panatilihin ang kanilang personnel – hindi para magtanggal o magbawas," Tinio told CHED.
(We have to use any government fund as an incentive in order to keep their personnel – not to remove them.)
He said he will propose "in the proper time" a provision in the GAA that the P8.28-billion fund should only be used for institutions that will not displace their teaching and non-teaching staff.
A bill similar to CHED's transition program is still pending in the House committee on higher and technical education. Its author, Pasig Representative Roman Romulo, does not expect the bill's approval anytime soon.
The proposed Tertiary Education Transition Fund of 2015 amounts to P29 billion ($621.41 million) that, if approved, will be made available from 2016 until the end of K to 12's transition period, or by the end of school year 2021-2022. (READ: Congress considers fund to help workers affected by K to 12) – Rappler.com
*US$1 = P46.67
Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.