By: Ivan Jules S. Capin

The SAMAHAN Central Board (SCB) finally settled its budget for the first semester of the academic year 2016 – 2017.

In a hearing held at the board room of Finster Hall, SAMAHAN Treasurer Karla Tiu presented to the division and cluster representatives the proposed budgets that would be allotted to their respective student executive councils.

Tiu allocated 44.5% of SAMAHAN’s entire budget to the Department and Cluster Fund which amounted to P 243,219.20 while 55.5%  or P 303,30.80 were apportioned as the SAMAHAN’s General Fund.

The proposed Department and Cluster Fund was then divided into three versions. The first was based on a fixed amount of P 15,000; the second, P 17,000; and the last, P 19,000.

Tiu’s three different versions of the Department and Cluster Fund were based on her electoral promise of placing a fixed amount to the budgets of each division and cluster to ensure their financial equality and to address their operating costs.

The last version of Tiu’s fixed amount scheme, which amounted to P 19,000 as the fixed amount won the majority vote as it was supported by the six smaller divisions, namely: Humanities and Letters, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, School of Education, School of Nursing, and Computer Sciences.

On the other hand, the Business and Management and Accountancy divisions voted for the P 15,000 fixed amount while the School of Engineering and Architecture voted on the P 17,000.

Despite taking the toll of receiving a lesser amount to their budgets, the Business and Management, Accountancy, and the Engineering and Architecture departments  still received the lion’s share of the department budget, allocated P 32,847.45, P 29,017.99 and P 32,724.25 respectively.

“We have to make do with what we have despite the reduction in our budget. We still the budget allocated by OSA (Office of Student Affairs),” Derizza Giselle Laburada, the representative of the School of Engineering and Architecture commented.

Maan Fidel, the Business and Management representative shared her opinion after the hearing, saying that, “All we have to do accept the decision of the body, despite the vote the B&M Department committed on the P 15,000 fixed amount.”

The Humanities and Letters Department received P 32,413.58; P 22,604.67 for the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Cluster; P 30, 196.36 for the School of Education, P 41,270.07 to the School of Nursing, and P 24,463.36 for the Social Sciences Cluster.

A proposal was also made by Diane Marie Navarro, the representative of the Humanities and Letters Cluster to divide the Department and Cluster Fund equally among the departments instead of the usual formula of each department and cluster allocation being determined by the number of students present in that said department or cluster.

However, the proposal sunk as the bigger departments such as Accountancy, Business and Management, and Engineering and Architecture argued that dividing the budget equally would incur more costs, reduce the large balance forwards, and finally, create outroar among students from the bigger departments.

The budget for the General Assembly of Class Presidents was unanimously decided by the hearing’s participants, as it was increased from P22,500 to P25,000 while the Campus Clubs Organizations opted to retain its original allocation of P22,500.