President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday witnessed the signing of an agreement to launch the implementation of the law providing free tuition in all state and local universities and colleges (SUCs/LUCs).
The signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the implementation of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (R.A. No. 10931) was signed between the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and a total of 112 SUCs and 78 LUCs at Malacañang.
This comes after Duterte, on Aug. 4, 2017, signed into a law the measure seeking to provide free tuition in SUCs and LUCs despite opposition from his economic managers as the government may not afford it.
In his speech, Duterte welcomed the MOA signing noting that it opened doors for countless opportunities that will lead to empowerment, success, and the realization of individual aspirations.
“The signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Commission on Higher Education and almost 200 tertiary academic institutions is a crucial step in helping young Filipinos fulfill their dreams of becoming productive members of the country’s workforce,” Duterte said.
Duterte added that a free, quality tertiary education will be a significant step towards improving lives of underprivileged and marginalized Filipinos.
He said that he also recognized the efforts of the Congress, CHED, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), SUCs, LUCs and technical-vocational institutions pushing for the law’s passage.
The President also stressed the importance of Filipinos paying proper taxes to raise revenues for projects including the Free Higher Education Law.
CHED Officer-in-Charge and Commissioner Prospero De Vera De Vera, for his part, thanked Duterte and the Congress for “doing what no administration in the past has done or even attempted to do.”
De Vera, meanwhile, said that around 1.3 million students will not pay their tuition and miscellaneous fees starting this month.
Out of the 1.3 million, 300,00 poor students belonging to the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Poject (4Ps) will be given additional subsidy by the government.
In June 2017, more than 800,000 students did not have to pay tuition after Duterte approved Congress’ proposal to realign PHP8 billion in budget of CHED to free tertiary education. (PNA)
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