MANILA — A House leader has called on the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to create more plantilla positions for full-time faculty of State Universities and Colleges so the SUCs can meet their 17,057 teaching staff shortage, improve their performance and delivery of quality education and become globally competitive.
Rep. Roman T. Romulo (Lone District, Pasig City), chairman of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education, said the estimated shortage of 17,057 faculty in SUCs is based on the 2014 survey of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC).
“PASUC has estimated that the creation of the much-needed faculty plantilla items will require approximately P5.5 billion funding,” said Romulo.
The PASUC report, according to Romulo, also cited that no additional plantilla items have been given by the DBM to SUCs for the last 15 years and because of this, the SUCs have utilized the “scrap and build policy” of the DBM.
He said Presidential Decree No. 985, otherwise known as the “Budgetary Reform Decree on Compensation and Position Classification of 1976” issued on August 22, 1976, is reportedly still being used as basis for the present plantilla positions of SUCs.
“The quality of SUCs is defined mainly by the quality of their faculty. Most SUCs have a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:42 which is higher than the standard faculty-to-student ratio of 1:25,” said Romulo.
Romulo sought the creation of additional plantilla positions for full-time SUCs faulty through House Resolution 1659, which is now pending at the Committee on Appropriations chaired by Rep. Isidro T. Ungab (3rd District, Davao City).
Romulo said the shortage of plantilla positions has compelled SUCs teachers to devote most of their time and attention to instruction to the detriment of research and extension programs of the SUCs, which is another reason why these institutions lag behind other higher education institutions in Asia in terms of performance and quality.
“In Region II alone, 95.60% of the 1,911 college faculty are involved in higher education programs, 28 or 1.47% of which are involved in both advanced higher education and extension, and only less than one percent are involved in research and auxiliary services,” he said.
The situation is worsened by the addition of new courses by the SUCs to meet the demands of the education sector because the new course offerings are not supported by the creation of corresponding plantilla positions, according to him.
“Faculty members are given administrative positions to govern and manage the university affairs along with academic, extension, research and production programs of SUCs,” said Romulo.
Romulo said the Region II report of SUCs presidents stated that faculty members appointed to administrative positions of president, vice presidents, deans, executive officers, campus administrators and department chairmen are given respective teaching loads ranging from 12 to 21 units while those faculty members with semestral workload of 21 units, who are assigned as coordinators, program leaders, projects in-charge or study leaders, are given additional teaching loads ranging from three to nine units.
“There is a need to revisit the plantilla of SUCs faculty and reduce their workload from 21 to 18 units or even lower not only to ensure quality instructional delivery services, but also to enable them to give the necessary attention to research and extension and keep pace with the demands of the 21st century,” said Romulo.
Another negative effect of the lack of full-time plantilla positions is that some SUCs faculty have been lured to switch to other careers or leave for work abroad, thereby finding it more difficult for the SUCs to meet the standard faculty-to-student ratio, according to the solon.
“The existing plantilla can no longer cater to the increasing trends in enrollment and the SUCs have been compelled to hire additional faculty through contracts, job orders and emergency instructors on part-time status. The PASUC reported the number of part-time SUCs faculty handling 255,850 units is now estimated at 184,782,” said Romulo.
Romulo said based on the past year’s National Expenditure Program of the DBM, there are 56,899 filled plantilla positions for SUCs faculty. News reports indicate there are 31,739 full-time faculty as against 16,674 part-time faculty working in the country according to him.