MANILA – The government has allotted P8-billion fund as budget for the free tuition of students at State Universities and Colleges (SUC) for academic year 2017-2018.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) says the higher education support fund is in accordance with a directive from President Rodrigo Duterte which aims to give priority to the poor who would like to study.
“Hindi pwedeng mangulekta ang SUC ng tuition fee sa mga estudyante. Instead sisingilin nila ang CHED kasi nasa amin yung pondo,” CHED-UNIFAST Deputy Exec. Dir. Nicholas Tenazas said. (The SUC must not collect fees from students. Instead they must collect from CHED since the fund is with us.)
CHED, added however, that students will still pay for some expenditure such as miscellaneous fees.
About one million students from 112 SUC’s are expected to benefit from this program.
Aside from the poor, also to be prioritized are those who are about to finish their studies and those who are covered by The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P’s).
“Ang general rule doon ay wala namang qualifications basta lahat mag enroll kayo tapos ang gagawin ng SUC titingnan kung kasya lahat tapos iisa-isahin lang uunahing bigyan ng priority yung mahihirap,” Tenazas added.
(The general rule is that there are no qualifications. Everyone may enroll. What the SUC will do is that it will check everyone can be covered. There will be checking one by one. And the poor must be prioritized.)
Students welcomed the good news.
“Parang yung P4,300 sa 1stsem tapos P4,300 din po sa [2ndsem] parang allowance ko na rin ng isang taon yun,” engineering major, Nestor Balimbim said. (P4,300 will be for the first semester, and P4,300 for the second semester. It’s like my allowance for the whole year.)
PUP student George Cunanan said, “Kahit maliit po yung tuition namin, makakatulong pa rin po sya pag-nawala (Despite our small tuition, this [free tution] can still greatly help). ”
CHED further added that the free tuition program may cover students who stopped going to school. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue