CHed, state schools sign agreement on free tuition

THE Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) on the implementation of the free tertiary education law.

A total of 112 SUCs and 78 CHED-recognized LUCs will be covered by the agreement, which will execute the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed the signing.

In his speech, Duterte said that with the signing of the MoA, a brighter future for millions of Filipinos who are having a hard time to finish their studies because of poverty is within reach.

“Education is the single most important legacy that we can bestow on our youth. It opens doors for countless opportunities that will lead to further empowerment, greater success and the realization of individual aspirations,” he added.

“At present, millions of Filipino youth are still having a hard time finishing their studies due to poverty. Many poor students are struggling to go to school mainly because they have no money for allowance, transportation, books and projects and other miscellaneous expenses. That is why we have made quality education affordable and accessible,” Duterte said.

He called on education leaders, teachers and other concerned personalities to maintain the same quality of education even if the access to tertiary education is broadened.

“As we bring education closer to the poor students, we must also ensure the quality of education is not compromised. And its benefits are cascaded to all,” Duterte said.

“Free tertiary education is a significant step toward further building the capacity of our people, most particularly in improving the lot of underprivileged and marginalized Filipino. Empowering our citizens and building our nation are indeed challenging but it is both a rewarding and beautiful task,” the President added.

Ched Officer-in-Charge Prospero de Vera commended the efforts of Duterte.

“The social legislation that you signed will be the greatest investment for the future because it will produce highly educated better trained and more employable Filipino workforce who will propel the country’s development in the future,” De Vera said.

In June when classes reopened, he noted, 800,000 students did not pay tuition because of Duterte’s approval of the proposal of Congress to realign the budget of CHED.

This year, around 1.3 million students will not pay tuition and miscellaneous fees, 300,000 of whom will be given additional subsidy by the government from the Listahanan of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, De Vera said.

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