MANILA --While he welcomes the Commission on Higher Education's (CHED) release of around PHP4.8 billion for its Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) program, Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV said the allocated budget for its full implementation should be distributed immediately to student-beneficiaries in both public and private education institutions.
"I welcome the release of the said amount as it proves the administration's commitment to implement the program under the law," said Aquino in a news release Wednesday.
Aquino is the principal sponsor of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, which he pushed during his term as chairman of the Committee on Education.
The CHED recently announced the release of PHP4.8 billion for the TES program under the free higher education law to students in 112 state universities and colleges (SUCs) and 78 local universities and colleges (LUCs).
However, Aquino noted that the remaining PHP11.2 billion funds allocated for the TES in the 2018 budget should also be released immediately for the benefit of students under the program.
"Siguraduhin natin na ang buong budget na nakalaan para sa TES ay mailabas sa lalong madaling panahon, kasama na rito ang mgascholarship para sa mga estudyante ng private Higher Education Institutions (Let us make sure the entire budget intended for TES is released immediately, including the scholarship for students of private Higher Education Institutions)," Aquino added.
Recently, the senator convinced the CHED to issue a memorandum prohibiting SUCs from charging mandatory fees.
During the CHED's budget hearing, Aquino informed the department that several SUCs still collect miscellaneous and other mandatory fees from students, despite the expressed prohibition under Republic Act 10931.
"Sana gawin nating New Year's resolution ang 100 porsiyentong pagpapatupad ng libreng kolehiyo sa lahat ng state university at college.Dapat hindi na maningil ang SUC ng tuition at mandatory fees sa mga estudyante ngayong 2019 (I hope that we make it a New Year's resolution the 100 percent implementation of the free college for all state university and college. The SUC should not charge students tuition and mandatory fees this 2019)," the senator said. (PR)
Source: Philippines News Agency