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Ilonggo students lauded the plan of the Duterte administration to use the PHP6-billion fund settlement of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) for the free college tuition in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

Nicole Almodiente, senior high school student of University of Iloilo, said that it will help students, especially those who cannot afford to study in college due to financial problem.

“They will have the assurance of free tuition in government-run colleges and universities once the budget will be utilized. Through it, many of my fellow students will be able to reach their dreams in life,” she added.

Era Mariz Murillo, 4th Mass Communication student of Central Philippine University (CPU), described the fund settlement as a “huge” amount that can really help the underprivileged youth dedicated to study but cannot afford to enter college.

“In this way, they can gain a degree, get a good and stable job and especially help their families overcome poverty,” she said.

Meanwhile, Leonora Estanque, 4th year journalism student of West Visayas State University (WVSU) in Iloilo City., said that it is really “better” if the fund will be utilized for education.

Though Estanque assumed that she can no longer benefit from the free tuition since she will be graduating from college in 2018, she expressed gladness and optimism for the younger students.

“The amount would be a very huge benefit especially to students who cannot afford tertiary education,” she said.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act in August.

Under the Act, a total of 11 SUCs in Western Visayas are expected to benefit.

These are Aklan State University, Capiz State University, Carlos C. Hilado Memorial State College, Guimaras State College, Iloilo State College of Fisheries, Central Philippines State University, Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College, Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology, University of Antique, Iloilo Science and Technology University, and West Visayas State University. (PNA)

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