2 senators favor Diokno’s bid to require screening test for free college tuition
MANILA, Philippines — The proposal of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno to subject students to a national test for them to gain free tuition and other benefits is valid, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Sen. Sonny Angara said in separate statements issued on Monday.
“Free college education should be for those who want to go to college, who have the aptitude to study in college, who can secure a competitive slot in college determined [through] competitive examination. Secretary Diokno has a very valid point,” Pimentel said.
For his part, Angara said: “I think we should review it with a view to making richer families pay. Multi-millionaire families should pay tuition so that more resources can go to support poorer families and students.”
The proposal did not sit well, however, with Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, who pointed out that there are much more important things to review — such as the P215 billion proposed allocation of the Department of Public Works and Highways for flood control in 2024.
“I don’t understand why Secretary Diokno is so stingy when it comes to investing in our country’s human capital and yet liberal and magnanimous when it comes to flood control. If at all, it is this allocation that should be reviewed and revisited,” Escudero said.