NANCY ASKS CHED TO CLARIFY RULES ON FREE TUITION POLICY

Senator Nancy Binay today called on the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to clarify its rules and regulations regarding its free tuition policy in state colleges and universities (SUCs).

Binay said that while the CHED and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had released in April a joint memorandum circular guiding the grant of free tuition to SUCs for 2017, it is vague whether it will be full or partial subsidy.

"Malabo po ang polisiya ng CHED regarding free tuition in SUCs. Panawagan po natin na agaran nilang klaruhin ito, lalo na at tapos na ang enrollment period para sa maraming SUCs," Binay said.

She made the call following the decision of the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) not to collect tuition fees until the government makes clear its plan on free education.

"Sa taas po ng tuition sa UPD ngayon, hindi po klaro kung masasagot ba ng buo ng free tuition policy ang P1500 per unit cost, considering na nasa around 16,000 ang undergraduates nito," Binay said.

"So hindi po fair ito, lalo na kung sasagutin ng buo ang cost of tuition sa ibang SUCs," she added.

Binay is strongly pushing for the continued funding of free tuition in state universities and colleges (SUCs) nationwide.

"Isa po sa mga sinusulong natin na maging isang ganap na realidad ang libreng edukasyon sa kolehiyo. Patuloy po ang pakikipagtulungan natin sa ating mga kasama sa Kongreso pati na sa Executive branch upang taun-taon pong mabigyan ng pondo ang libreng college education," Binay said.

Binay said that the P8-billion appropriation for free college education is a great first step, but there is more work to be done to get the yearly funding for the program.

She noted that there are some laws that are not fully implemented because of the absence or lack of funds for the execution of the law.

"We will continuously work for the realization of free tertiary education for all, especially now that Senate Bill 1304, or the free higher education for all act, is up for the President's signature," Binay said.

Binay voted in support of the measure, which will provide full tuition subsidy for students enrolled in SUCs, during the deliberations in the first regular session of the higher chamber last March 2017.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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