MANILA More Filipino youth with access to free tertiary education marks a significant milestone in the 25 years of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday, CHED chair J. Prospero de Vera III said the commission's biggest achievement in almost three decades would be its contribution to the country's manpower, by producing more Filipino youth "who are better educated, better trained, and more employable".
"These youth will be the engine of growth of this country through Republic Act 10931. Now, in our 25 years, we are an agency implementing the biggest innovation in higher education which is free higher quality education," he said.
De Vera said 1.3 million youth in public universities no longer pay tuition and miscellaneous fees, about 300,000 college students get tertiary education subsidy, and deserving students receive merit scholarships.
The free tertiary education law was fully implemented in 2018, which mandates the free tuition and miscellaneous fees in state universities and colleges.
For school year 2018-2019, the government has allocated a budget of PHP40 billion PHP16 billion for Free Higher Education, another PHP16 billion for the Tertiary Education Subsidy for needy students, PHP7 billion for Technical-Vocational Education and Training, and PHP1 billion for the Student Loan Program.
In 1994, CHED was established through Republic Act 7722 or Higher Education Act of 1994.
"From a bureau of the Department of Education into a full-blown commission doing the work in higher education in the national, ASEAN, international levels promoting access and equity. We have close to 2,000 higher education institutions in the Philippines because initially when CHED was created, what we had were state universities and colleges, now we have local universities and colleges," De Vera said.
De Vera also lauded CHED employees for their commitment to education.
"We'd like to thank and congratulate the employees for all the hard work they've been doing. There are employees in CHED who were part of the original batch when CHED was created so we're going to recognize them during these 25 years," he said.
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, CHED's officials and employees held a Unity Walk around the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City Thursday. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency