‘Huli sa Facebook, May Iskolar Pa Si Cong!’: Interpellating the 2020 Budget of the CHED
November 19, 2019
‘Tulong Dunong,’ the defunct scholarship program of individual legislators, is still alive and kicking – and the proof is on Facebook. Sen. Lacson bared this during his interpellation of the 2020 budget of the Commission on Higher Education.
QUOTES and NOTES:
No to Duplicative Programs:
Lacson pointed out he has consistently fought to delete duplicative programs in the budget, including Tulong Dunong. His call had been heeded to transfer the funds of Tulong Dunong to the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education this year. While Tulong Dunong is a laudable project, he had stressed legislators have no business implementing the project because that is the exclusive domain or jurisdiction of the executive branch.
“It is no secret I consistently fought to delete duplicative programs in every appropriations measure. One of these is Tulong Dunong. I am grateful in 2019, my call was finally heeded to transfer whatever amount there is under the Tulong Dunong program to the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education.”
Huli sa Facebook!
Of the P8.5-billion increase in the CHED’s P43.8-billion budget for the Universal Access to Quality Education, only P3.285B was allotted for TES. If the remaining P5.23B is a lump sum, “I will suspect sa Tulong Dunong na naman ito napunta.”
The most telling sign that Tulong Dunong still exists came from Facebook, where some legislators ‘broadcast’ their scholarships, including one on Nov. 18, 2019. “Several legislators are still broadcasting. May Tulong Dunong pa rin.”
“Kung naroon ang provision in the 2019 budget bakit may naliligaw pang Tulong Dunong?” … “I am afraid that will be a repetition of scholarship programs by legislators.”
Sen. Lacson proposed an amendment where the amount be returned under TES. “I assume it will be acceptable to CHED for proper monitoring.”