Free tuition in SUCs 'likely' in June – university exec

USTP Pres. Rotoras said that President Duterte will likely sign Affordable Higher Education Act of 2017 in June.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A university official on Wednesday expressed confidence that President Rodrigo Duterte would sign into law the “Affordable Higher Education Act” before June so that the free tuition fee in all state-owned colleges and universities can take effect for school year 2017-2018.

Dr. Ricardo Rotoras, president of the University of Science and Technology of (Southern) Philippines (USTP), said the passage of the bill last March 13 signals the holding of the bicameral conference committee between the two houses of Congress before President Duterte could sign it into law.

“Once signed into law, the free tuition fee in all college levels would start in the next academic year, which will start on June 2017,” Rotoras said.

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He said that the signing of the Affordable Higher Education Act would also allay the fears of students of the Misamis Oriental State College of Agriculture and Technology (MOSCAT) in Claveria, Misamis Oriental that the “merger” of MOSCAT and USTP would trigger a tuition hike.

Former Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City authored a law that merged the state-owned colleges in 2014 as one of the pre-requisites prior to the approval of the creation of USTP, formerly known as the Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST) that was created in 1991.

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MOSCAT was originally created in 1927 and held classes at the now Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School (MOGHS) in the city’s downtown along Velez Street here.

MOSCAT later transferred to Claveria, Misamis Oriental and was then known as Claveria Municipal High School. [By Mark Francisco, PNA]

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