CHED to DOF: Spare free college tuition fund from budget cuts
THE Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Wednesday said it will ask the Department of Finance (DOF) to spare the free college education program from budget cuts due to the potential reduction of revenues from the impending suspension of the second tranche of excise taxes on fuel.
“We will be in close coordination with DOF so that iyong (the) provision for education somehow will not be affected by any deduction,” CHED Officer-in-Charge Executive Director Cinderella Jaro said in a Palace briefing.
Jaro noted that the Finance department is currently in the process of forming a task force that will determine which government services will be subjected to budget cuts.
However, she expressed confidence that the DOF will prioritize education and will instead look at other items in the budget that can be postponed or reduced.
As (DOF) Asec (Tony) Lambino has stated, they will prioritize infrastructure and provisions for basic services, and they will first cut the budgets of non-essential services,” she said in Filipino.
Earlier, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) has created a task force to look into expenditures that could be postponed or cut due to the reduction of revenues from the suspension of the next excise tax increase on fuel, which started this year through the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law.
This came after economic managers confirmed that they have recommended to President Duterte the suspension of the oil excise tax for January 2019.
As mandated by the Train law, fuel excise taxes increased by P2.5 per liter this year, and the levy is scheduled to rise by P2 and P1.50 per liter in 2019 and 2020, respectively, or a total P6 excise tax hike in three years.
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