CHED budget

CHED commits to Sen. Bam 100% compliance to Free College Law

Thanks to Sen. Bam Aquino’s prodding, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will soon issue a memorandum prohibiting state universities and colleges (SUCs) from charging mandatory fees.
“Sa batas natin, bawal nang mangolekta ng mandatory fees ang mga SUC. Dapat ituloy ang laban para sa 100 percent compliance ng mga kolehiyo,” said Sen. Bam during the CHED’s budget hearing.
During interpellation of the CHED budget, Sen. Bam expressed his concern that a few SUCs may still collect miscellaneous and other mandatory fees from students, despite the expressed prohibition under Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.
“Sa pag-iikot natin sa mga SUC, nalalaman naming may balak pa ang ilan na mangolekta ng miscellaneous fees,” said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of Republic Act 10931 during his term as chairman of the Committee on Education.
“Hindi dapat ito nangyayari dahil may batas nang nagsasabi na bawal ang paninigil ng miscellaneous at iba pang mandatory fee,” added Sen. Bam. “Sa batas na ito, sinisiguro na ang kapos, makapagtatapos.”
Sen. Bam insisted that the law should be properly enjoyed by students and their families so they can cope with daily expenses amid the high prices of food and other goods.
“Halos aabot din sa daan-daang piso ang kinokolektang miscellaneous fees sa mga estudyante, pera na dapat ginagamit nang panggastos ng pamilyang Pilipino na pambili ng pagkain at iba pang pangangailangan,” added Sen. Bam.
In response, CHED chairman Prospero de Vera agreed to issue a draft memorandum that will clarify and warn SUCs that students should not pay a single centavo to enroll in an SUC, LUC or TESDA-run TVI
In addition, Sen. Bam sought to expand the coverage of the free college law to cover on-the-job training, affiliation fees for nursing students, and other Related Learning Experiences (RLEs). 
Sen. Bam also pushed for the better support for SUCs through additional plantilla position for non-teaching personnel, such as security personnel, registrar, guidance counselors, resident ombudsman, among others.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM), for its part, committed and allocated money for this endeavor and was simply waiting for the recommendation from CHED.
Sen. Bam said once the CHED gave its recommendation, SUCs can start hiring non-teaching personnel next year.

Sen. Bam to SUCs: Collecting mandatory fees is now illegal

Sen. Bam Aquino cautioned state universities and colleges (SUCs) from collecting fees from students amid the implementation of the Free College Law.
“If there are mandatory fees still being collected by the schools, that is illegal now,” said Sen. Bam during the budget hearing of the Commission on Higher Education.
“Mag-ingat sila sa kinokolekta nila kasi nasa batas iyan. If it is a mandatory fee, that should not be charged to the students,” added Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.
Sen. Bam made the pronouncement after receiving complaints from students and parents about mandatory fees being collected by SUCS despite the implementation of the free college law.
“May natatanggap pa rin tayong reklamo ukol sa di makatwirang paniningil na ginagawa ng ilang SUCs. Di na ito dapat ginagawa,” said Sen. Bam, also the vice chairman of the Committee on Education.
Republic Act 10931 provides free tuition and miscellaneous fees to students in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs) and TESDA-run vocational schools. 
Also, the law allows students of both public and private college and universities can also apply for scholarship grants and student loans.
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.
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