CHED should fully implement free education in 2019

While he welcomes the Commission on Higher Education's (CHED) release of around P4.8 billion for its Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) program, Sen. Bam Aquino 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 Sen. Bam, 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 P4.8 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, Sen. Bam stressed that the remaining P11.2 billion fund 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 mga scholarship para sa mga estudyante ng private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)," added Sen. Bam.

Recently, Sen. Bam convinced the CHED to issue a memorandum prohibiting state universities and colleges (SUCs) from charging mandatory fees.

During the CHED's budget hearing, Sen. Bam 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," said Sen. Bam.

SOURCE: Sen. Bam to CHED: Release full budget for TES program. Senate of the Philippines. Press Release. December 26, 2018.