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LA unanimously approves reduced USG budget for AY 2020-2021

The Legislative Assembly (LA) approved the University Student Government’s (USG) budget for Academic Year 2020-2021 in an emergency session last March 30. The USG’s current budget stands at P397,687, down by 29 percent from last year’s budget of P557,335 due to the zero percent tuition fee increase the previous year and a deficit in the University’s income amid the pandemic.

Fixed allocations

USG Executive Treasurer Noel Gatchalian presented the fixed allocations, which totals to P84,294 and is spread out among the USG’s major activities, departments, and commissions, as well as the Laguna Campus Student Government (LCSG).

The University Vision-Mission Week, the USG’s largest fundraising activity, was given a budget of P36,667, while the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund and the Contingency Fund were allotted P10,627 and P2,000, respectively.  Meanwhile, the Department of Activity Approval and Monitoring was given P4,000 and the Activities Assembly Department was granted P2,000. 

The magistrates and the DLSU Commission on Elections received P8,000 each. Meanwhile, the Commission on Audit was allocated P4,000 while the LCSG gets P6,000.

Budget among colleges, batches

Budgeting across batches depended on the size of the colleges. The College of Liberal Arts (CLA), the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business (RVRCOB), and the John Gokongwei Jr. College of Engineering (JGCE) were apportioned a larger cut, while the four smaller colleges were given a smaller piece.

All senior batches were allocated 0.3 percent of the total budget or P1,248.16. For CLA, RVRCOB, and JGCE, the junior batches received 0.6 percent of the total budget, the sophomore batches received 0.9 percent, and the frosh batches received 0.13 percent. The batch government units of the other four colleges are expected to receive half the amount given to the corresponding year level in the bigger colleges. This brings the total allocation for batch government units to P62,407.90.

Gatchalian also discussed the budget appropriations for the college government units amounting to P150,591.06. The final allocation for each college was derived from taking the average of the “equal” and “fair” allocations of each college. Equal allocations refer to the equal division of the budget among the seven colleges, while fair allocation is determined by the number of students in each college.

EB allotment

The Executive Board received the remaining P100,394.04, divided among the five offices based on their projected expenses. 

The Office of the President (OPRES) received P16,368.59, the Office of the Vice President for Internal Affairs was allocated P14,186.11, the Office of the Vice President for External Affairs was given P25,098.51, the Office of the Executive Secretary was allotted P14,186.11, and the Office of the Treasurer (OTREAS) was allocated P30,554.71.

EXCEL2022 LA Representative Aeneas Hernandez raised concerns on the details of the allocation for the Education Recovery Plan under OPRES and the mechanics behind the Dean’s Lister Financial Grant under OTREAS. 

Gatchalian elaborated that the Education Recovery Plan intends to help students recover from the pandemic, though he admitted that USG President Maegan Ragudo “has not given any specifics” on the project. 

On the other hand, the Dean’s Lister Financial Grant intends to give financial incentives for consistent Dean’s Listers. Students interested in availing of the program must present proof that he or she is in need of financial support to qualify.

Meanwhile, after the lifting of the writ of preliminary injunction on the election of the BLAZE2022 LA Representative last March 12, Chief Legislator Giorgina Escoto, who is a candidate for re-election for the aforementioned position, will be filing for a leave of absence. BLAZE2021 LA Representative Pia Beltrano will serve as the acting Chief Legislator in the interim.

By Chloe Novenario

By Dustin Albert Sy

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