The Silliman University (SU) operational budget was reduced to 15% due to cost cutting measures of the university.
According to Atty. Fe Marie D. Tagle, SU Vice President for Finance and Administration, the reduction was based on the university’s zero enrollment expectation for first year college students this school year.
Adjustments will, however, be made to the 15% reduction as Tagle following actual first year enrollees this year, Tagle said.
As of July 5, 2017, there are 531 first year enrollees and 1,106 in the second year.
Tagle said that the recovery in the cost cutting will not be significantly large since the total number of enrollees in first year plus Senior High School still cannot compensate for the loss of enrollees compared to the enrollment in the previous school years.
She added that they still have to consider the budget of the university for security, safety, and operational risks, and the university will also prioritize programs that will go through accreditation by December and February next year.
Despite the cost-cutting measures, Tagle gave an assurance that the same will not compromise the quality of education.
She said the cost-cutting measure applies to all expenses of the university, except for the budget for personnel, like the faculty and staff, who regularly enjoy salary increases.
Tagle stressed that the budget must be well distributed to address the different needs of the university in order to secure the university’s continuity of services. “We have to make sure that we balance the interest of all the stakeholders,” she said.
Dr. Earl Jude Paul Cleope, acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said: “We were informed in a series of consultations that we need to do our share in this cost-cutting. At the end of the day, this would ensure that Silliman will survive.”
He explained that these measures include the suspension of the Capital Expenditure, the recycling of paper in department offices, and the reduction of some activities for the college.
For her part, Dr. Gloria Futalan, dean of College of Business Administration, said that they commit to switch the air conditioning units off for 4 hours a day.
This is consistent with a memorandum issued to all units on the switching off air-conditioning units and lights after every class.
“There are instances when a big university like Silliman University will find a way to improve its financial operation, and activities that seek to enhance revenues and those that reduce cost if sought and implemented can do a lot,” Futalan said.The CBA dean calls for the cooperation not just of the deans, faculty members, and staff but as well as the students.
On the other hand, Dr. Jenny L. Chiu, acting dean of SU School of Public Affairs and Governance said their budget has been cut by 70%.
According to him, it compromises their college’s objectives because it affects planned activities like attending conventions in their national organizations and related activities for human resource development.
“For each objective, there will be required activities, and for each activity there will be a corresponding cost. So how can you attain your objectives if you don’t have money to perform?” Chiu shared.
However, he said it is a challenge for him and the staff to be creative and resourceful as to not affect the quality of services given to students.
Chiu added that they are shifting to practices and activities that cost lesser compared before.