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Press Release - Cayetano, Pia: Opening statement on the higher education budget

Thank you, Mr President. Mr President, I am ready to sponsor the budget of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), with a total new appropriation of P47,057,007,000; the State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), with a total new appropriation of P106,489,883,000; and the University of the Philippines (UP) with a total new appropriation of P23,557,426,000.

Mr President, in the past years, it has been our intention to make the budget for higher education sustainable, and also resilient to future challenges - all while considering intergenerational fairness. I extend my gratitude to Sen. Sonny Angara, the Chair of the Committee on Finance, for wholeheartedly supporting the amendments and recommendations we made.

Mr President, before we start, I would just like to start off on a light note. Recently, UP ranked the highest among the universities in the country at 404th place in the QS World University Ranking 2024... and then 78th place in Asia. For the World Ranking, this is an improvement of its 412th spot for 2023; followed by two private schools: Ateneo De Manila University, ranked 563rd... our Deputy Minority Floor Leader... followed by De La Salle University... at 689-690 bracket; and University of Sto Tomas at 801-850. And then joining the top 4 schools is the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, which made it to the 1201-1400 bracket.

But, Mr President, what I'd also like to point out is this. We are mindful of a news article that was published around July of this year saying that according to a leading online job portal, Jobstreet, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) is the top educational institution preferred by employers in the Philippines, with UP coming in second. I would just like to commend PUP. It receives the lowest subsidy at 12 pesos per unit. So kung hindi pa ba kahanga-hanga na despite the low subsidy and because of the moratorium on increase, although that increase will really be a government expense, to be clear, because of our law, they continue to hold this ranking among the employers. And that's what matters, because employers eventually kahit ano pang award na ibigay mo, kung hindi yan hireable, hindi yan hireable.