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Duterte rejects bill granting national status to PUP

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President Rodrigo Duterte has vetoed the bill seeking to grant the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) a status of a national polytechnic university.

The measure, approved by Congress, sought to grant fiscal and institutional autonomy to PUP.

“While I recognize the noble objective 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,” the President said in his veto message addressed to Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

The Chief Executive underscored the need to reassess the proposal in light of its current performance ranking among other state universities and colleges (SUCs).

“The comparative performance of its satellite campuses and extension programs need to be similarly evaluated before granting the PUP system as a whole such privileged status,” he said.

Duterte said the bill consolidating Senate Bill No. 2124 and House Bill No. 9023 also departs from the adopted policy of granting only institutional autonomy to SUCs.

“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 monetary processes,” he said.

The PUP was founded in 1904 and has more than 20 campuses serving thousands of students. Its main campus is located in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

Prior to the enactment of the free tertiary education law, PUP was one of the state universities that offered low tuition fees at around PHP12 per unit.

In 2016, a survey conducted by popular job employment website JobStreet Philippines found that PUP is the top school of choice of many companies in the country when hiring fresh graduates.

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