THE Benguet State University (BSU) is opening up its land to investors as part of an income-generating initiative to tap other sources of revenue amid dwindling national subsidies and external problems like rising inflation.
According to Benguet State University (BSU) president,Felipe Comila, the school’s one-hectare strawberry farm is part of the 605-ha land grant of BSU that has been opened to investors.
Among the portions of “idle” real estate opened up for investments are the 40 hectares of swampy area around the strawberry farm which is being offered to establishments seeking to take advantage of the tourist crowd in the farm, said Dr. Johnny Gusman Dati Jr., BSU vice president for research.
The opening of BSU real estate to investors has been brought about by expected budget cuts in the 2023 budget.
BSU and other state universities and colleges (SUCs) may get a lower allocation in 2023 after the Department of Budget Management (DBM) pushed for a P93-billion SUC appropriation, or a reduction of about P10 billion when compared to the sector’s P104-billion budget this year.
While initial drafts of the DBM budget for 2023 indicate that the BSU will receive an extra P8 million the coming year, BSU president Felipe Comila says that the national subsidy for BSU is no longer sufficient for the main campus and its extensions in Buguias and Kapangan towns.
BSU is aiming to upgrade to being a level five category university to access bigger funds for its ambitions of establishing a medical college, as well as a National College of Highland Agriculture and Environment, according to Comila.