Education

Sen. Bam: Free tuition in public universities and colleges starts this semester

Students of state universities and colleges (SUCs) all over the country will enjoy the benefits of Republic Act 10931 or Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act earlier than expected.

In a radio interview, Sen. Bam Aquino announced that the 112 SUCs will not collect tuition fees and miscellaneous expenses from students starting this semester. Initially, the government said the law will be implemented starting the school year 2018-19.

Sen. Bam said he was informed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) that no tuition fees and miscellaneous expenses will be collected from students this semester.

“Kahapon, kinumpirma ko na implemented na po ito this second semester. So lahat ng mag-e-enrol this second semester, dapat wala nang kinokolektang tuition at miscellaneous expenses,” said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor and co-author of RA 10931.

“Iyong mga staff natin at mga partners sa iba’t ibang lugar, tinitingnan na ang mga SUCs kung wala silang kokolektahing tuition at miscellaneous expenses,” added Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam also announced that lawmakers have allotted P40 billion in the 2018 national budget for the implementation of RA 10931 for school year 2018-19.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bam encouraged students who failed to finish their college course to inquire with SUCs if they can go back to school and finish their studies for free.

“Natutuwa kami dahil ang batas na ito ay hindi lang para sa kasalukuyang naka-enroll pero sa mga nag-drop-out dahil puwede nilang ipagpatuloy ang kanilang pag-aaral nang libre,” Sen. Bam pointed out.

The law provides free education to students in SUCs, local universities and colleges (LUCs) and TESDA-run vocational schools. Aside from tuition fees, the government will shoulder miscellaneous and all other mandatory fees.

Scholarship grants will be made available to students of both public and private college and universities. It also provides a new and improved student loan program, where students can apply for financing for other education expenses.

In addition, students taking post-graduate studies can avail of the new and improved student loan program and scholarships under the law.

The measure was languishing in the legislative mill for years before it was passed during Sen. Bam’s time as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress. This was Sen. Bam’s 19th law in his four years as senator.

Sen. Bam: Public schools to teach financial literacy soon

Sen. Bam Aquino expects that money management and business training will be taught in public schools starting next school year to equip students with the needed knowledge in managing their finances and encourage them to become entrepreneurs in the future.

 During this speech at the 6th UNESCO-APEID meeting on entrepreneurship education atMiriam College recently, Sen. Bam informed participants that the Youth Entrepreneurship Act has already been enacted into law as Republic Act 10679 in 2015. 

 The law encourages young would-be entrepreneurs to establish their own business by providing them access to capital and other support. It also creates financial literacy modules in all levels of Philippine education, to inculcate a culture of enterprise development among the Filipino youth.

 Sen. Bam said the Department of Education (DepEd) is currently finalizing the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for RA 10679.

 “We hope that by next school year, financial literacy and entrepreneurship will be taught in our public schools,” said Sen. Bam, the principal sponsor and co-author of RA 10679 in the Senate as chairman of the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship in the 16th Congress.

Sen. Bam underscored the need to inculcate financial literacy to the hearts and minds of young Filipinos, saying the country ranked 68th in the world in terms of financial literacy in 2015, way behind our neighbors Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Furthermore, Sen. Bam said a 2015 survey by Standard & Poor’s revealed that only 25 percent of Filipino adults are knowledgeable on basic money management.

Sen. Bam hopes that the country will learn from the experience of different participants of the conference to enhance financial literacy and entrepreneurship education in the country.

Around 140 participants from the Asia-Pacific region, composed mainly of policy makers, educators, entrepreneurs and youth representatives, joined the 6th UNESCO-APEID meeting.

Bam: DepEd must catch up on underspending

Sen. Bam Aquino urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to address its underspending to speed up delivery of needed learning materials to millions of primary and secondary students in the country. 

“The DepEd needs to be more efficient in its delivery, which can hamper the delivery of learning materials and other needs to our students,” said Sen. Bam, vice chairman of the Committee on Finance, during the hearing for the DepEd’s P613.1 billion budget for 2018.

 “There is money budgeted but not spent. This means the Filipino people aren’t receiving all the learning materials and education services the government can provide,” Sen. Bam emphasized.

 “For a student, it doesn’t matter if there is a lack of funds, or inefficiency in spending the funds, parehas lang yan sa kanya, wala pa rin ang mga libro at kagamitan,” he added.

Based on briefing materials submitted by DepEd to Sen Bam, the agency has completed only 3.65 percent obligation in relation to appropriation for learning resources such as textbooks, Science and Math equipment, computerization and library for 2017.

 “Sayang naman ang mga kagamitan, gaya ng libro at iba pang materyales na mabibigay sana natin sa mga estudyante upang suportahan ang kanilang pag-aaral. That is almost 14 billion pesos worth of learning materials not delivered to our students and teachers,” said Sen. Bam.

 Also, the DepEd only released 30 percent of its P109-billion budget for classrooms, leaving the agency with P76 billion unspent for the construction of around 15,000 classrooms in 2017.

Responding to Sen. Bam’s call, DepEd Sec. Briones vowed to catch up on their underspending and ensure their budget is maximized moving forward.

 “We’ve been working to raise more money for education in the Philippines so let’s use the budget more efficiently and ensure we are investing as much as we can into the education of young Filipinos,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam elated by all-out support for free college education

Sen. Bam Aquino welcomed the government’s all-out support for the full implementation of the law providing free education in state colleges and universities, local universities and colleges (LUCs) and vocational schools under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

“We are happy with the government’s promise to go all-out in implementing this law for the benefit of Filipino students, especially those who are poor and underprivileged,” said Sen. Bam, referring to Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

“Natutuwa tayo at kaisa natin ang pamahalaan sa hangaring hanapan ng kailangang pondo para sa epektibong pagpapatupad ng batas na itinuturing na napakalaking reporma sa edukasyon sa bansa,” added Sen. Bam, the principal sponsor and co-author of the measure in the Senate during his stint as chairman of the Committee on Education.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno expressed confidence that the P51 billion needed in the first year of implementation of the law can be sourced from the 2018 national budget. Diokno added that President Duterte is committed to implement the law by finding the needed budget for it.

Senate Finance Committee chairperson Loren Legarda also committed to find the necessary space in the 2018 budget for the implementation of RA 10931.

“Mahalagang mabigyan ng karampatang pondo ang batas na ito upang matupad ang layunin nitong mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang mas maraming Pilipino na makatapos ng kolehiyo at magkaroon ng magandang kinabukasan,” stressed Sen. Bam.

The law provides free education to students in SUCs, local universities and colleges (LUCs) and TESDA-run vocational schools. Aside from tuition fees, the government will shoulder miscellaneous and all other mandatory fees.

Scholarship grants will be made available to students of both public and private college and universities. It also provides a new and improved student loan program, where students can apply for financing for other education expenses.

In addition, students taking post-graduate studies can avail of the new and improved student loan program and scholarships under the law.

The measure was languishing in the legislative mill for years before it was passed during Sen. Bam’s time as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress. This was Sen. Bam’s 19th law in his four years as senator.

Sen. Bam to DepEd: Teach financial literacy in schools

The Department of Education has yet to roll out the law mandating financial literacy and entrepreneurial training in basic education.

“Two years have passed since the Youth Entrepreneurship Act was passed into law but there is still no movement in its implementation,” said Sen. Bam, the principal sponsor and co-author of Republic Act No. 10679 in the 16th Congress.

The law mandates that the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) be promulgated within one hundred twenty (120) days from its effectivity.

“We need to teach young Filipinos about money and savings as soon as possible. Financial literacy and basic training in business can help the next generation overcome poverty,” added Sen. Bam, an advocate for the empowerment of the Filipino youth.

The Youth Entrepreneurship Act or R.A. 10679 requires financial literacy to be included in our basic curriculum and encourages young would-be entrepreneurs to establish their own business.

“This can also help address unemployment as it gives students the know-how to start a business, an alternative to seeking employment,” added Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam also passed the Go Negosyo Act, establishing over 600 Negosyo Centers and counting across the Philippines to help our countrymen build a successful business as a source of livelihood.

The senator is also the principal sponsor of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, providing free tuition and miscellaneous fees in public universities and colleges.

Sen. Bam: IRR key to effective implementation of free college education law

Sen. Bam Aquino stressed the need to engage and consult stakeholders before the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act is finalized. 

“There are still a lot of details to iron out before the Commission on Higher Education’s IRR is finalized. Umiikot kami sa mga state colleges and para kunin ang panig ng mga estudyante at administrators ng mga paaralan,” said Sen. Bam. 

“It is important to engage with all the stakeholders and come up with a most effective implementation plan,” added Sen. Bam, the principal sponsor and co-author of the measure in the Senate during his stint as chairman of the Committee on Education. 

As a revolutionary reform in education, Sen. Bam underscored the need to hold healthy discussions on how to craft an IRR that will ensure effective implementation, based on its original intention of the law. 

“Mahalagang mapag-usapan ang bawat detalye ng batas sa pagbuo ng IRR. Masasayang lang ang napakalaking repormang ito sa edukasyon kung hindi matututupad ang pangunahing layunin nito,” added Sen. Bam. 

Sen. Bam said other important issues such as summer and make up classes, residency issues, and grade requirements should be tackled. 

“Though we are not part of the group finalizing the IRR, we are committed to sharing the comments, concerns and suggestions we’ve collated from students, parents, teachers and other concerned citizens,” the senator said. 

The law will provide free education to students in SUCs, local universities and colleges (LUCs) and vocational schools under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Aside from tuition fees, the government will shoulder miscellaneous and all other mandatory fees. 

Scholarship grants will also be made available to students of both public and private college and universities. Plus, it provides a new and improved student loan program, where students can apply for financing for other education expenses. 

If fully implemented, Sen. Bam said the law will benefit around two million students in all state universities and colleges and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-run technical-vocational institutions in the country. 

In addition, students taking post-graduate studies can avail of the new and improved student loan program and scholarships under the law. 

The measure was languishing in the legislative mill for years before it was passed during Sen. Bam’s time as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress. This was Sen. Bam’s 19th law in his four years as senator.

Sen. Bam: Tertiary education law also provides scholarships and loans to students

The Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act offers more than just free education in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs) and vocational schools under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

“Hindi lang libreng edukasyon sa SUCs at LUCs ang hatid ng batas na ito kundi ang pagpapatibay ng scholarship programs at student loan programs ng gobyerno para sa kapakinabangan ng ating mga estudyante,” said Sen. Bam Aquino, principal sponsor and co-author of the measure in the Senate.

Sen. Bam said one of the salient features of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act or Republic Act 10931 is the new and improved student loan program.

 While undergraduate students in LUCs and SUCs are covered by free tuition, students taking post-graduate studies can avail of the new and improved student loan program and scholarships.

“Through the student loan program, students can apply for financing for other education expenses outside of their miscellaneous and mandatory fees that will be shouldered by the government under the law,” said Sen. Bam.

 In addition, Sen. Bam said the law also provides scholarship grants to students of both public and private college and universities by strengthening the existing Student Financial Assistant System (StuFAP) of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

After gathering dust in the legislative mill for years, the law was passed during Sen. Bam’s short stint as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress. It was Sen. Bam’s 19th law in his four years as senator.

Sen. Bam also assured that lawmakers will make the necessary moves to ensure that the law will be properly funded and effectively implemented.

“With a more efficient use of our budget, there is more than enough fiscal space for this landmark reform,” said Sen. Bam.

 Earlier, Sen. Bam thanked President Duterte for signing the important measure into law, saying that millions of Filipinos are the real winners with this revolutionary education reform.

“Pagkatapos ng ilang dekada, batas na ang inaasam-asam ng napakaraming pamilyang Pilipino na libreng kolehiyo,” said Sen. Bam, “Estudyante, magulang at pamilyang Pilipino ang tunay na bida ng batas na ito.”

Bam to schools: Prepare workforce for AI job termination

With the advancement in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the labor industry, a number of existing jobs in the market is at risk.

During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology on the effects of AI to current jobs, the Union Network International-Philippine Liaison Council (UNI-PLC) told committee chairman Sen. Bam Aquino that around 60 percent of work, especially in the business process outsourcing industry, will be affected.

 However, the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) mentioned that around 40,000 workers in the contact center industry will be lost.

 “The best way to protect ourselves is to move our workers up the skill ladder. This is best done by having opportunities for education and by upgrading skills, retooling and retraining industry workers,” said Sen. Bam.

 “We cannot wait for this downturn in jobs to happen before we prepare. Kailangang handa na tayo ngayon,” stressed Sen. Bam as he called on education institutions to check if the skills they’re providing are the ones needed by industry workers to upgrade their abilities to the next level.

 “This way, we can ensure that we will able to maximize opportunities presented in Artificial Intelligence,” said Sen. Bam, adding that around 250,000 to 300,000 fresh jobs will be created once contact center workers are given the capability to perform higher-level jobs, such as data analysis and data programming.

“Mahalaga ring matiyak na mayroong academic-industry linkage. Kaya ba ng ating mga eskuwelahan na itulak ang kakayahan ng ating mga kababayan upang gawin ang mga bagong trabahong ito?” Sen. Bam questioned.

 Sen. Bam said the BPO industry must work hand-in-hand with concerned government agencies, such as the Department of Education (DepEd), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to ensure that the country is prepared for any eventuality if the implementation of AI goes into full swing.

Sen. Bam: Free college education effective weapon vs poverty, crime, illegal drugs

Sen. Bam Aquino believes that the free college education law recently signed by President Duterte can be a long-term solution to poverty, crime and even illegal drugs.

“A college degree can unlock a better job and better livelihood for Filipino families. It is an effective weapon and long-term solution to combat poverty, crime and drugs,” said Sen. Bam, the Senate’s principal sponsor and co-author of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act or Republic Act 10931

“Ngayong may pagkakataon na ang maraming Pilipino na makatapos ng libreng kolehiyo, mas malaki ang tsansa nilang makaahon sa kahirapan at umasenso,” added Sen. Bam, who has been advocating for education, jobs and business as keys to lifting Filipinos out of poverty and giving them a chance at a better future.

Earlier, Sen. Bam thanked President Duterte for signing the important measure into law, saying that millions of Filipinos are the real winners with this revolutionary education reform.

“Pagkatapos ng ilang dekada, batas na ang inaasam-asam ng napakaraming pamilyang Pilipino na libreng kolehiyo,” said Sen. Bam, “Estudyante, magulang at pamilyang Pilipino ang tunay na bida ng batas na ito.”

The measure was languishing in the legislative mill for years before it was passed during Sen. Bam’s time as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress. This was Sen. Bam’s 19th law in his four years as senator.

With this law, students will enjoy free education in state universities and colleges (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 shoulder miscellaneous and all other mandatory fees.

 Scholarship grants will also be made available to students of both public and private college and universities. Plus, it provides a new and improved student loan program, where students can apply for financing for other education expenses.

 

Sen. Bam: Mission accomplished for revolutionary free tuition law

Sen. Bam Aquino extended his gratitude to President Duterte for signing the Universal Access to Tertiary Education Act into law, saying that millions of Filipinos are the real winners with this revolutionary education reform.

 “I wish to thank the President for signing the free college tuition into law. Congratulation to my fellow lawmakers and everyone who supported this policy,” said Sen. Bam, the principal sponsor and co-author of the law in the Senate. This was Sen. Bam’s 19th law in his four years as senator.

“Pagkatapos ng ilang dekada, batas na ang inaasam-asam ng napakaraming pamilyang Pilipino na libreng kolehiyo,” Sen. Bam added, “Estudyante, magulang at pamilyang Pilipino ang tunay na bida ng batas na ito.”

 Sen. Bam, who championed the bill during plenary debates and interpellation as former chairman of the Committee on Education, also assured that the Senate will find ways to find the needed Php25 billion to fully implement this law.

 The senator said Sen. Loren Legarda, chairperson ng Committee on Finance, already committed to including free tuition in the 2018 budget.

 With this law, students will enjoy free education in state universities and colleges (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 shoulder miscellaneous and all other mandatory fees. 

 Scholarship grants will also be made available to students of both public and private college and universities. Plus, it provides a new and improved student loan program, where students can apply for financing for other education expenses. 

The measure was languishing in the legislative mill for years before it was passed during Sen. Bam’s time as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress.

 “I am thrilled that Filipinos will benefit from a free college education,” Sen. Bam added, “It was an honor to work on this revolutionary education reform and fight for its passage”.

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