TODAY: Kabataan Party-list files its proposed amendments to the 2018 national budget

Friday, September 15, 2017

As the sole youth sectoral party-list representative, Hon. Sarah Elago submitted today, September 15, 2017, the following amendments to House Bill 6215 or the General Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2018, which the representation deem pivotal to the Filipino youth and students’ welfare and development.

A. General Provisions governing SUCs
In light of the new law, Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Tertiary Education Act, we propose to replace in its entirety Section 1 referring to Tuition and Other School Fees with:

Section 1. It shall be unlawful for SUCs to collect tuition and other school fees from qualified undergraduate students in accordance to RA 10931.

B. General Provisions governing the national budget for FY 2018
We propose the following amendment to Section 32 referring to Projects Related to the Youth:
GAB 2018:

Proposed:
All agencies of the government are mandated to provide 5% of its total budget allocation for youth development projects and activities within the framework of the Philippine Youth Development Plan (2017-2022).

C. Restoration of Funds
We propose the restoration of the budget cuts in Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOOE) of 49 State Universities and Colleges amounting to P593,456,000.00. We further urge the Committee on Appropriations to study options to augment the budget for Capital Outlay of SUCs to finance building of infrastructures for student, faculty and university community development.

* SUCs with Proposed Augmentation for CO budget: PUP College of Engineering, Pangasinan State University, Philippine State College of Aeronautics, Isabela State University and Bulacan Agricultural State College, Inc.

D. ON LRT BACKWAGES

We propose the inclusion of the following specific item:

Payment of 221 former MTOI-LRT Employees’ Judgment Award– 228,695,222.06

The said budget insertion is in accordance to the requested funding assistance through budget insertion in the 2018 GAA for DoTr by the LRTA Board in connection with the implementation of the Decision of the Supreme Court Third Division in G.R. No. 175460, dated April 14, 2008, captioned as METRO TRANSIT ORGANIZATION, INC. (MTOI) VS. PIGLAS-NFWU-KMU, SAMMY MALUNES, ET. AL., involving 221 former MTOI-LRTA employees led by the union President Sammy Malunes. The said Decision in favor of the said employees became final and executory on September 3, 2008.”

In the macro-perspective, President Rodrigo Duterte wants to railroad the approval of his P3.7 trillion 2018 budget which will sustain his three wars against the people (Martial law and War against Moro, War on Drugs [against the poor], Oplan Kapayapaan [an all-out war vs the people])–simultaneous wars of death and destruction, and is, by far, the biggest corruption budget. It will continue the bureaucrat capitalist system in the country. Hundred billions will go to infrastructure projects for either rewards to his allies or bribes to seek loyalty of others. Duterte is also set to receive P3 billion in discretionary “intelligence funds”, a 500% increase over the previous regime; the funds for his anti-drug campaign of mass murder is set to increase by 4000%.

“Lump sums must be exorcised and budget for War on Drugs, amounting to P3.45 billion, must be scrapped, especially that P900 million of it will come from one of the most corrupt office, Department of Interior and Local Government, and Philippine National Police’s Double Barrel Reloaded,” Elago said.

“Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” thrust for the 2018 National Budget is “Destroy, Destroy, Destroy” in reality. It is actually a national budget that will kill the Filipino people and their aspirations, and destroy their livelihood and future. Good thing there is a broad united front and organized mass movement that will not cease to advance the struggle of the people and will never falter despite all threats until the achievement of genuine peace and national democracy, where pro-people government is no longer a myth and people’s rights and social services are well recognized and provided,” Elago ended.###