President Rodrigo Duterte vetoed the Senate and House bills granting national polytechnic university status to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
Duterte returned to Congress last Wednesday the bill consolidating Senate Bill No. 2124 and House Bill No. 9023 (The Charter of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines) without his signature.
A copy of his letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III and members of the Senate was made available to reporters yesterday.
“While I recognize the noble objective of the measure to promote, foster, nurture, and protect the right of all citizens to accessible quality education, I have serious reservations on the suitability of the means chosen to attain this end, namely, granting the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) the status of a national polytechnic university, with all the benefits and privileges such status entails,” Duterte wrote.
The President said the PUP is just one of the many state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the Philippines.
Duterte added that the proposal to make PUP a national polytechnic university “needs to be reassessed in light of its current performance ranking among other SUCs.”
He said the performance of PUP’s satellite campuses and extension programs need to be evaluated as well.
Duterte noted that the bill provides granting fiscal autonomy to PUP, “which departs from the adopted policy of granting only institutional autonomy to SUCs.”
Having the bill enacted into a law will also affect the government’s budget, he added.
“The proposed provision on appropriations would also have a significant fiscal impact on the government, which may be avoided only if the PUP budget would continue to be subject to the need for prioritization and the usual budgetary and monitoring processes,” the President said in the letter.