89 State colleges, universities to get P2B from Bayanihan II for shift to smart campuses 

THE COMMISSION on Higher Education (CHED) said it has allocated a total of P2 billion to 89 state-owned universities and colleges across the country under the Bayanihan II stimulus fund, to be used for the shift into smart campuses.

As of Thursday, 19 schools out of the 89 have formally signed a memorandum of agreement with CHED, to be spent on various requirements for setting up flexible learning systems.

The remaining 70 schools are currently finalizing their proposals and expected to receive their grants “in two to three days,” CHED chairman Prospero E. de Vera said in a press conference on Thursday.

Of the P2 billion, total disbursement stood at P416.6 million as of Thursday.

Mr. De Vera said they are confident that CHED “will beat the June 30 deadline for the disbursement of the Bayanihan II funds.”

He further called on Congress to grant the commission additional funds under the proposed Bayanihan III to continue the smart campus initiative.

“We have started to build the foundations for smart campuses of our state universities and colleges. We have used the money allocated by Congress under Bayanihan II,” Mr. De Vera said.

CHED also spent P1 billion to buy laptops for faculty members while P300 million was used to cover unpaid tuition and miscellaneous fees of 50,000 students in private universities across the country.

Another P300 million were disbursed, through the Department of Labor and Employment, to part-time faculty members with no salary during the pandemic because of the “no teach no pay policy.”

Meanwhile, CHED and the Department of Health (DOH) have authorized 93 higher education institutions to conduct limited face-to-face classes as of Thursday.

The 93 schools were among the 155 that filed applications for the authority to conduct limited in-person classes, CHED director Lily Freida M. Milla said. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago

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