A bill that aims to enhance and legalize the Palawan State University-College of Community Resource Development’s exterior campuses has been filed in the House of Representatives by 2nd Palawan District Rep. Cyrille “Beng” F. Abueg-Zaldivar
Abueg-Zaldivar filed House Bill (H.B.) No. 5885, which was later replaced by H.B. No. 6975, to strengthen the PSU’s administrative oversight of PSU-Local Government Unit–CCRD (PSU-LGU-CCRD) campuses throughout the province, allowing for their integration with the PSU Main Campus in Puerto Princesa City.
According to Abueg-Zaldivar once the measure is passed into law, it will grant legal status to the PSU-CCRD External Campuses of PSU-Narra, PSU-Quezon, PSU-Brooke’s Point, PSU-Roxas, PSU-Taytay, and PSU Coron, PSU-Española, PSU-Rizal, PSU-Bataraza, PSU-Balabac, PSU-Dumaran, PSU-San Vicente, PSU-Linapacan and other branches. They will then be integrated as Regular Campuses of the Palawan State University.
PSU-Cuyo Campus, formerly the Palawan College of Arts and Trade (PCAT), will also be integrated with the PSU Main Campus.
“Through this proposed legislation, the administrative and financial support for all the external campuses of PSU will be included in the annual General Appropriations Act, thereby securing yearly budgetary support from the National Government,” Abueg-Zaldivar said.
Currently, PSU-CCRDs are governed by the agreements entered into by the respective Local Government Units, the Parent Teacher Council (PTC) of the town, and the PSU. LGUs provide the infrastructure and extends funding for the salaries of faculty and staff, PTCs collect school fees for operation expenses and acquisition of facilities, while PSU manages the CCRD and provides the faculty and non-teaching staff for the centers.
She said that through the years, there has been a steady increase in the student population and operation costs of the CCRDs.
“This has become a challenge for both the LGUs and students as it would mean an increase in funding requirements. Thus, LGUs in recent years have been trying to scale down their support or to withdraw the assistance, while the parents, majority of whom come from depressed areas and low-income households, are clamoring for lower school fees,” she added.
She said that once passed, this measure will address all these issues and challenges, primarily by easing the CCRDs’ budgetary constraints. Substitute H.B. No. 6975 was already passed by the House of Representatives on September 1, 2020 and is now pending for deliberations before the Senate Committees on Higher, Technical and Vocational Education and Finance.
In addition, Abueg-Zaldivar committed to continue to lobby the passage of the measure to ensure the delivery of accessible and quality tertiary education for each and every Palaweño.