Duterte signs free tuition law for students of SUCs

The bill granting free tuition to students of SUCs is now a law after President Duterte signed it on Thursday.

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has finally signed a bill giving free tuition to all students of state universities and colleges amidst concerns of his economic team on the cost of its implementation.

The Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act was reportedly signed by the President around 10 PM of August 3, 2017. Under the law, scholarship grants will also be made available to students of both public and private college and universities.

It also provides a loan program, where students can apply for financing for other education expenses.

In a press forum, Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra announced the good news and said that “free tertiary education in state universities and colleges is a very strong pillar or cornerstone of the President’s social development policy.”

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Guevarra added that reallocation of resources, other sources will fund free tuition in SUCs. “The Congress will have to make the necessary appropriations to fund this new project.”

Senator Bam Aquino, one of the principal authors of the law, thanked the President for signing the free college tuition into law. “I am thrilled that Filipinos will benefit from free college education. It was an honor to work in this revolutionary education reform and fight for its passage.”

“E Estudyante, magulang at pamilyang Pilipino ang tunay na bida ng batas na ito,” he added.

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Co-author senator JV Ejercito was equally thrilled with the development. “The Free Tuition Act is an investment to further equip our most precious resource – the human resource,” he said via Twitter.

Based on the law, students will start to enjoy free education in SUCs, local universities and colleges (LUCs) and vocational schools under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) starting the second semester of school year 2017-18.

Aside from tuition fees, the government will also shoulder miscellaneous and other fees.

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