The Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act offers more than just free education in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs) and vocational schools under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
"Hindi lang libreng edukasyon sa SUCs at LUCs ang hatid ng batas na ito kundi ang pagpapatibay ng scholarship programs at student loan programs ng gobyerno para sa kapakinabangan ng ating mga estudyante," said Sen. Bam Aquino, principal sponsor and co-author of the measure in the Senate.
Sen. Bam said one of the salient features of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act or Republic Act 10931 is the new and improved student loan program.
While undergraduate students in LUCs and SUCs are covered by free tuition, students taking post-graduate studies can avail of the new and improved student loan program and scholarships.
"Through the student loan program, students can apply for financing for other education expenses outside of their miscellaneous and mandatory fees that will be shouldered by the government under the law," said Sen. Bam.
In addition, Sen. Bam said the law also provides scholarship grants to students of both public and private college and universities by strengthening the existing Student Financial Assistant System (StuFAP) of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
After gathering dust in the legislative mill for years, the law was passed during Sen. Bam's short stint as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress. It was Sen. Bam's 19th law in his four years as senator.
Sen. Bam also assured that lawmakers will make the necessary moves to ensure that the law will be properly funded and effectively implemented.
"With a more efficient use of our budget, there is more than enough fiscal space for this landmark reform," said Sen. Bam.
Earlier, Sen. Bam thanked President Duterte for signing the important measure into law, saying that millions of Filipinos are the real winners with this revolutionary education reform.
"Pagkatapos ng ilang dekada, batas na ang inaasam-asam ng napakaraming pamilyang Pilipino na libreng kolehiyo," said Sen. Bam, "Estudyante, magulang at pamilyang Pilipino ang tunay na bida ng batas na ito."
Source: Senate of the Philippines