The senate of the Philippines approved on the third and final reading, Bill No. 1304 of “affordable higher education for all act” in state colleges and universities (SUCs) on Monday.
The final vote for a bill providing free tuition fee garnered 18-0 votes.
Moreover, the bill’s principal sponsor Senator bam Aquino thanked his fellow senators for supporting the measure.
Aside from Senator Aquino , other authors of the bill include Senators Joel Villanueva, Francis Pangilinan, Ralph Recto, Loren Legarda, Sherwin Gatchalian, Sonny Angara, Cynthia Villar, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Richard Gordon and Leila de lima.
Under the bill, all Filipino citizens currently enrolled in SUCs and other covered institutions, as well as those who will enroll in the future in pursuance of a bachelor’s degree, certificate degree or other similar undergraduate degree in any SUC, can qualify for the tuition subsidy as long as they meet the admission requirements of the SUC
However, those who had attained a bachelor’s degree as well as those who had been discharged or failed to complete their degree within a year after their advised period of study will no longer be qualified for the proposed tuition subsidies .
The government will shell out P16 million every year to subsidize tuition in SUCs.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is also expected to strengthen all Student Financial Assistance Programs (StuFAP), making it available to students who would want to study in private institutions as well as funding the expenses of SUC students.
The bill is also expected to set off other existing policies and laws on scholarship programs such as Iskolar ng Bayan Act, streamlining the Student Financial Assistance Program (StuFAP) found in the United Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UNIFAST) in the UNIFAST Law, and other scholarships offered by the Commission on Higher Education, Department of Science and Technology, Department of National Defense, among other agencies.