Senator Sonny Angara has expressed optimism that the free college law would help reduce the number of out-of-school youth in the country.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) formally launched the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.
“Para sa mga papasok sa susunod na school year, libre na ho ang tuition niyo. Maipatutupad na rin sa wakas ang batas na magbibigay oportunidad sa bawat kabataan na maabot ang kaniyang mga pangarap at makapagbigay ng magandang buhay para sa kaniyang pamilya,” said Angara, one of the authors of the law and the sponsor of its P40-billion funding.
The veteran legislator cited a 2016 survey by the Philippine Statistics Authority which showed that one in every 10 Filipinos aged between 6 and 24 years is an out-of-school child/youth.
Based on the survey, of the 3.8 million out-of-school children/youths, 87% were 16 to 24 years old, 8% were 12 to 15 years old, and 5% percent were 6 to 11 years old.
More than half (53%) of the total out of school children/youths belong to the poorest 30 percent of Filipino families.
The seasoned lawmaker pointed out that the free elementary and high school system in the country has helped widen the access to education for Filipino children.
The free elementary and high school system in the country has helped widen the access to education for Filipino children.
Another study has shown that out of 100 students that start elementary education, less than 20 are able to graduate from college, and among the primary reasons for not being able to finish their education were poverty and lack of opportunities.
“Three decades after the free high school law, it’s high time that we replicate its benefits to our youth to help them finish college. Dapat ay siguruhin natin na 100 out of 100 na ang makapagtatapos simula elementarya hanggang kolehiyo,” said the youthful senator whose father, former Senate President Ed Angara, is the author of the Free High School Act of 1988.
Three decades after the free high school law, it’s high time that we replicate its benefits to our youth to help them finish college.
RA 10931 covers the tuition, miscellaneous and other school fees of students enrolled in 112 state universities and colleges (SUCs), 78 local universities and colleges (LUCs), and all technical-vocation education and training (TVET) programs registered under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
A Tertiary Education Subsidy will be created to provide allowance to poor students for books, supplies, transportation, room and board, personal computer or laptop, and other education-related personal expenses.
The subsidy will also provide financial support to poor students enrolled in private colleges and universities for the payment of tuition and other fees.
“We are hoping that this landmark law will be implemented smoothly and efficiently. The special financial assistance should reach our poor students to really help them defray the cost of college education,” Angara said.