Thursday, September 21, 2017

Achievement unlocked: Free college education fund now complete

Rep. Karlo Nograles / Photo from Philstar (ctto)

Manila, Philippines - On Thursday, Representative Karlo Nograles announced that the House of Representative has gathered the enough money to fund the full implementation of Republic Act (RA) 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

The said law was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last month.

“I’m happy to announce we’ve found P40 billion to finance the free higher education [law] for 2018,” In a press conference, Nograles told the reporters.

Nograles said that the amount will “cover for everything” that’s provided for in the celebrated law.

“That will cover the amount needed for 2018. So that’s free tuition and miscellaneous expenses for all SUCs, including UP to LUCs that are accredited by CHED, and it will cover the free technical-vocational education in tech-voc institutions under TESDA,”  Nograles said, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations

“This will also cover the tertiary education subsidy which may be used for SUCs and private [universities and colleges], and the student loan program,”  he cited.

The said law will cover students coming from the country’s 114 State Universities and Colleges (SUC), 16 Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) that are accredited by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The law also covers the 112 Technical-Vocational Institutions (TVIs) under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

During the press briefing, Nograles explained that P40 billion target fund was achieved within the limitations of the proposed P3.767-trillion national budget for 2018.

“We got P30 billion from the Department of Education (DepEd) for their school building program particularly those with problems on their no buildable space, no vacant lot…we were able to carve out P30 billion from that budget.

“The rest: from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), there are two projects there in the detailed engineering planning…it’s an ODA (Official Development Assistance) project, it is the EDSA BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) project and the Quezon Avenue BRT project. So both of them combined [and] we were able to get P3 billion to add to the free higher education [fund],” says Nograles who was the main sponsor of the said measure.