Yamsuan wants free tuition for gov’t employees pursuing graduate studies
MANILA, Philippines — Government employees pursuing graduate studies may soon enjoy free tuition if a bill filed by Bicol Saro party-list Rep. Brian Raymund Yamsuan gets enacted.
Under House Bill (HB) No. 8834 or the proposed Free Master’s Degree Tuition for Government Employees Act, career and non-career government employees may be eligible for free tuition fees for a two-year master’s program in any state university and college (SUC) that they have applied for.
Non-career contractual workers are also entitled to the benefit if the law is passed and signed, as long as they have been employed for at least five years upon enactment of the law.
Government employees are required to pass the entrance examinations and other requirements, while those who fail to complete their program a year after the prescribed period would be deemed unqualified for the program
Yamsuan said that this would not only improve the skills of government employees but will also be a way of showing gratitude for their hard work.
“Apart from improving the quality of public service, we owe it to our government employees to assure them that as they tirelessly and generously provide their services and expertise on the one hand, the government backs their goals for career growth and professional development on the other,” he said.
“In addition to experience, training, civil service eligibility, and performance rating, educational attainment plays a vital role in the merit-based selection and promotion of civil service employees. Thus, this measure will not only boost our civil servants’ morale and job satisfaction, it will also ensure employee retention, resulting in a more stable civil service,” he added.
Aside from not being able to complete the graduate program a year after the period, the bill stated that the following factors would make a government employee unqualified for the program:
- Government employees who were already granted with any government-sponsored graduate education scholarship program in any higher education institution, whether public or private, in the country or abroad
- Government employees who fail to comply with the admission and retention policies of the SUC
- Government employees with pending administrative charges involving grave offenses, such as, but not limited to: serious dishonesty, gross neglect of duty, conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude
- Such other ineligibilities as may be reasonably identified by the Commission on Higher Education and the Civil Service Commission, Provided that they are consistent and not contrary to the provisions and objectives of this act
For the 19th Congress, a similar proposal was filed in the Senate by Senator Jinggoy Estrada last June 2023. Senate Bill 2277, or the proposed Government Employees Free MA Tuition in SUCs Act, aims to encourage government workers to move up the career ladder and “assume greater responsibilities.”