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« on: January 07, 2018, 09:58:14 PM »

Two congressmen have recommended changes at the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to address massive work backlogs because on scholars’ allowances and internal discord given that the agency now has two executive directors: one a recent Duterte appointee and another who is suspended and battling a graft case.

“CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan apparently has vertigo, which can, in unfortunate situations, be precursors to accidents. I hope she consults her doctor or doctors often and that she takes care. If, however, Dr. Licuanan’s health makes her unable to run the CHED well in the months ahead, then my suggestion is the honorable exit which is for her to resign,” said Iligan City Representative Frederick Siao, who has been taking up the cudgels for college faculty scholars whose K to 12 Transition program allowances have not yet been released after months of delays.

Siao said CHED officials “must clean up this mess. Then when CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan steps down, the executive director should also leave when she leaves. The other directors responsible for not solving the gridlock should also leave with them.”

Siao said he does not wish to add to her health concerns but he has to “come to the defense of my constituents who are among the 9,500 who are in the K to 12 Transition Program for college faculty.”

“In the meantime, college faculty are living in poverty and heavy debt. The CHED has demeaned them inexcusably,” he added.

1-Ang Edukasyon Party-list Rep. Salvador Belaro Jr noted that the term of Dr. Patricia Licuanan as CHED chairperson will end later this year.

“But before she leaves, I urge the CHED Commission en banc to draw up a checklist of strategic priorities and formulate a road map. The road map ought to have proposals for the strengthening of the CHED Law, which, enacted in 1994, would be 24 years old this year.

Belaro also said he agrees with CHED officials that structural reforms are needed.

“I see a need for more front line field directors, where the work backlog and traffic choke points seem to be creating work flow problems...some of the CHED regional offices with heavy work volumes may need larger staff complement or provincial offices, but adding these to the CHED organizational structure has to be gradual so as not to be too burdensome on the national budget,” Belaro added.

The party-list congressman said there is “urgent need for a fully-functional online transaction portal for better front line services to the public. There may also be a need to boost the funding of the Higher Education Development Fund.” (END)

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