Senate President Koko Pimentel III welcomed the waiving of testing fees for the country’s state universities and colleges, lauding the development as a “step to making tertiary education more accessible to all.”

“This should be a relief for parents who just want to have more options, more opportunities for their children. I hope that private tertiary institutions also consider charging lower rates since so many students apply but are not accepted,” said Pimentel.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has recently released the enhanced implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, which was passed by the Senate in the first year of Pimentel’s term as Senate President and signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in August 2017.

Under the expanded guidelines, K-12 graduates will no longer be required to pay fees to take entrance examinations for state colleges and universities and local universities and colleges. The directive takes effect starting academic year 2018-2019.

Aside from reiterating his call for private universities and colleges to lower their testing rates, the Senate chief also stressed the need for educators to work together to find a way to “rationalize” the examinations for high school graduates, as students from the provinces would still incur expenses to take exams in different schools even if the fees themselves were waived.

“Most testing centers for big universities are located in major urban centers in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, and students from the province still need to travel to these areas to take these exams––so may gastos pa rin (so there are still expenses),” the senator from Mindanao explained.

Come up with the local equivalent of the United States’ SAT and ACT exams––standardized tests given to junior and senior high school students.

“Mas mainam sana kung isa na lang ang exam para isahang kuha, isahang gastos. (It would be better if there was only one exam so that students need spend only once.) I am sure our brilliant minds in the academe can come up with a standardized exam that can be used for applying in all colleges.”

Pimentel had earlier called on Philippine educators to come up with the local equivalent of the United States’ SAT and ACT exams––standardized tests given to junior and senior high school students in the United States. College aspirants in the US are usually required to submit the results of either test, together with their grades and other requirements, such as personal essays and teachers’ recommendations, when applying for college.


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