The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) signed a joint circular with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on the P500-million program to boost academic programs under colleges and universities.
“In order to better support the administrations’ goal of creating more jobs for the graduates and strengthening the economy, we have to produce competent graduates with highly specialized skills, particularly those that are well-suited to the needs of emerging and highly promising industries,” said Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad.
The guidelines for the implementation of the program identified these high-growth sectors as the business process outsourcing (BPO) and tourism industries, as well as agriculture and fisheries, emerging industries and innovation-oriented sectors.
Under the joint circular, the P500-million fund -chargeable under the 2012 General Appropriations Act (GAA)- will support the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and capital outlay (CO) requirements of the SUCs that have qualified for the program.
These include the development of infrastructure and facilities for implementing the initiative, as well as the improvement of existing academic programs according to the administration’s identified growth areas.
The BPO-related programs will receive the largest share of the fund, amounting to P125 million; followed by agriculture and fisheries, P115 million; and tourism and other emerging sectors at P105 million each.
Meanwhile, the DBM has released P563 million to the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for DepEd’s School Building Program for 2012 to help close the nationwide classroom gap by next year.
Charged against DepEd’s budget under the 2012 GAA, the fund will be used for the construction, rehabilitation, rehabilitation, replacement, completion and repair of elementary and secondary schools nationwide.
This will be released directly to DPWH and implemented by its District Engineering Offices.
The budget chief said President Aquino is highly committed to bridging the classroom gap in our public school system.