SP junks proposal for public city college
The hope for a public city college eventually turned into illusion after the Sangguniang Panlungsod dismissed the proposal for lack of funds.
City Councilor Perla Zulueta said they could not not just approve an ordinance appropriating funds for the establishment of the city public college without the availability of funds. The people will blame the council for acting on the proposal without the corresponding amount of money needed, said Zulueta.
Aside from lack of funds another reason cited by the city council in dismissing the proposal of Councilor Jeffrey Ganzon for the establishment of a public city college is the lack of feasibility study on the importance of the plan in the city's education program.
Zulueta said the establishment of a public city college is not easy. It entails much preparations compared with initiating projects such as the construction of day care centers and barangay halls.
Zulueta added, the members of the city council acknowledged the importance of education but they do not want to give the people false hope for such project. Education is important but funds is needed for its realization, she said.
"The question is whether the city government could afford to fund the project. It is a high impact project with "executive initiative." The proposal also requires the concurrence of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Civil Service Commission and Department of Budget and Management," explained Zulueta.
The city government could not also disburse fund for the proposed city public college under the Special Education Fund (SEF). The projects funded under the SEF are deliberated and endorsed by the Local School Board.
The Local School Board determines in accordance with the criteria set by the Department of Education the annual supplementary budget needs for the operation and maintenance of public schools within the city.
The local board budget shall give priority to the construction, repair and maintenance of school buildings and other facilities of public elementary and secondary school; establishment and maintenance of extension classes where necessary and sports activities at the division district, municipal and barangay levels.
The Local School Board is composed of the city mayor, city superintendent of schools as co-chairmen, the chairman of the education committee of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, city treasurer, representative of the Pederasyon ng mga Sangguniang Kabataan in the Sangguniang Panlungsod, the duly elected president of the city federation of Parents-Teacher associations, the duly elected representative of the non-academic personnel of public schools in the city as members.
According to Zulueta, the proponent (Ganzon) failed to convince the members of the council to act on his proposal since he failed to present the feasibility study. He was told to first study his plan.
Even if there is a feasibility study, the implementation will still depend on the availability of funds under the General Fund. Local government units augment the budget released from the General Appropriation for its education program. The SEF will augment the deficiency of the national budget allocated in the education program of the government, said Zulueta.
Earlier, the Local Finance Board denied the request of Ganzon to appropriate P6 million fund from the SEF to establish city public college. It was not clear on whether the P6 million is for the operation or construction of edifice for the city public college.