Sen. Bam Aquino is optimistic that measures pushing for free tuition fees in state colleges and universities will be enacted into law next year.
“We’re hoping we can pass this by February or March in time for June school year at para libre na ang college tuition every school year,” said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Education, during a media interview in Tuguegarao City.
“Masaya rin tayo na maraming senador ang sumusuporta sa panukalang ito na ng libreng tuition fee ang mga mahihirap na estudyante sa ating SUCs,” added Sen. Bam, who filed Senate Bill No. 177 or the Free Higher Education for All Act giving free tuition fee to all students in SUCs.
Aside from Sen. Bam’s bill, five other similar measures were filed in the Senate during the 17th Congress.
While P8 billion was already earmarked for free tuition fees in SUCs in next year’s budget, Sen. Bam stressed that a law is needed to make it a regular item in succeeding national budgets.
“Malaking bagay po ang dagdag na budget na ito but hopefully, by next year, we can do the accompanying law na maglalaan ng regular na pondo para rito bawat taon,” Sen. Bam said.
During his visit to several state colleges in Cagayan and Isabela recently, Sen. Bam also held a dialogue with students, informing them about the education-related bills he has filed in the 17th Congress.
Among them is the Senate Bill No. 1278 or Trabaho Centers in Schools Act, which recently hurdled the committee level and will be discussed in plenary next year.
Sen. Bam also wants to give out of school youth (OSY) in the country access to education through his Senate Bill No. 171 or the Abot Alam Bill, which seeks to institutionalize alternative learning system (ALS).