A senator expects students to benefit from the free education in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs) beginning the second semester of school year 2017-18.
“Napag-usapan sa bicam na it will be effective second semester ng school year 2017-2018 because by the time na ma-publish ito at maging batas, baka tapos na ang enrollment ng first semester,” said Sen. Bam Aquino, the principal sponsor and co-author of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act in the Senate.
“We’re hoping that by November or second semester, libre na ang tuition at iba pang bayarin sa ating SUCs,” the senator added.
As one of its major salient points, the measure prohibits SUCs from collecting other fees from students, making tertiary education totally free for underprivileged students.
“Kapag napirmahan na ito bilang batas, magiging state policy na libre na ang tertiary level education pagdating sa SUCs at LUCs natin,” said Sen. Bam, who defended the measure in plenary debates and interpellation during his stint as chairman of the Committee on Education.
Sen. Bam was also the co-chairman of the Senate delegation to the bicameral conference committee, together with new Committee on Education chairman Sen. Francis Escudero. Other members of the Senate panel are Sens. Sherwin Gatchalian and Ralph Recto.
If enacted into law, it will institutionalize free tuition and other fees in SUCs and LUCs all over the country, giving underprivileged students a chance to earn a college degree.
It will also make scholarship grants available to students of both public and private college and universities.
The final version of the measure has been ratified by the Senate on Tuesday.