Senator Loren Legarda said that all students who will enroll in any state university and college (SUC) in the country, including the University of the Philippines (UP), will no longer pay for tuition fee starting next school year as it will now be funded under the 2017 national budget.
Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on finance, said that this is the purpose of the additional P8 billion allocation under the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
“One of the long-standing concerns of poor families is bringing their children to college because after finishing high school in public schools, most of them have no means to pay for tuition fee in SUCs. The 2017 national budget addresses this concern,” she said.
The senator explained that while the budget only covers tuition fee, indigent students may still avail of grants and aid for miscellaneous fees under various programs.
College students belonging to family-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) are covered by the Expanded Students’ Grants in Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA).
Those who are not part of the 4Ps can avail of financial assistance for educational purposes under the Student Financial Assistance Programs (StuFAPs) both under CHED and SUCs. Under the proposed 2017 General Appropriations Act (GAA), there is P5.753 billion funding for StuFAP.
“Alleviating our people from poverty entails providing support for education until college so that they have more job opportunities and they are employed as professionals. Now that Congress has provided the funding, we urge the CHED and SUCs to ensure that these funds will go to the intended beneficiaries,” Legarda concluded.
The proposed 2017 GAA worth P3.350 trillion has been approved by both the Senate and House of Representatives and is expected to be signed by the President before Christmas. (PR)