Although the current semester only recorded 7,548 enrollees from the 7,789 enrollees last semester, the Office of the SAMAHAN Treasurer (OST) revealed the total budget allocation for the second semester of the academic year 2023-2024 to be P899,610, higher than the previous semester’s budget.
The hike was brought by the forwarding balance of P144,810 from the previous semester and the budget accumulated from 7,548 enrollees (P100 SAMAHAN fee from each student), totaling P754,800.
Following the kick-off of the second semester, the SAMAHAN Treasurer revealed a budget of P339,500 has been allocated to the upcoming events for the current semester, with it holding the largest portion of the total accumulated funds.
“Relatively, mas malaki siya compared to the first semester, but compared to the first semester, which has only two major events, the second semester has more, so more budgets because of more events.”
Events, such as the recently concluded Jumpstart at the beginning of the year, where SAMAHAN shelled out a total of P70,000 ballooned the budget for the events this semester.
Anticipating the upcoming SAMAHAN Central Board elections this semester, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) was granted an amount of P25,000 despite their proposal of P99,500.
Notably, this year’s COMELEC budget is lower than their P70,000 budget last election, which SAMAHAN Treasurer Michelle Cunanan explained that she communicated with the department about other options for the election.
“…I also communicated with COMELEC that hopefully they won’t use the methods done last Elections because it would really cost a lot on their end and also on SAMAHAN’s end; we cannot really afford 99.5k, and luckily, they have also considered the other options that I raised for them.”
Meanwhile, the OST received bloated budget proposals from the different departments and clusters within the University brought by the Physical Plant Office’s (PPO) implementation of the facilities’ rental fees, which Cunanan reassured that the fee could be waived.
“Some of the budget proposals included rental venues in their proposal, but just for everyone’s information, the rental fees can be waived as long as you submit a letter to Sir Bong [University’s Executive Vice President] and to the PPO that would decrease our fees and expenses.”
Cunanan also said that the budget allocations were brought to the SAMAHAN President, Chyna Marie Legaspina, for further and in-depth consultation, asserting that the allocations were not her decision alone.
“I also consulted with ate Chy [SAMAHAN President] so that I can also validate if the approved budgets are considered okay or valid and not just because I wanted to distribute all of the funds appropriately,” the SAMAHAN Treasurer stated.
With a base budget of P18,000 approved for the nine clusters after a majority vote of 10 out of 13, a total budget of P219,360 was allocated and distributed to the different clusters, with the School of Engineering and Architecture cluster taking the most significant portion of the budget with P30,896.12, followed by the Business and Management cluster with P30,007.
SAMAHAN’s offices and departments have been allotted P320,750, slightly lower by over P10,000 than the P336,300 budget last semester, with the Department of Campaigns and Advocacies receiving the largest chunk with P32,000 approved budget from their P134,500 budget proposal.
The budget hearing for the second semester was held at the SAMAHAN Central Board Office last Saturday, February 3, 2024.