Poll shows 98% of Filipinos favor free tuition in public universities, says Gatchalian | Inquirer News

Poll shows 98% of Filipinos favor free tuition in public universities, says Gatchalian

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 10:28 AM October 24, 2023

EDUCATION FUND CUT The University of the Philippines is among the state universities and colleges (SUCs) that will have to make do with less funds next year after the House of Representatives slashed P6.155 billion, or 5.75 percent, from the 2023 budget of P107.037 billion. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

The University of the Philippines  —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — Ninety-eight percent of Filipinos surveyed by Pulse Asia are in favor of free tuition for students in public universities mainly because it produces more graduates.

The survey, commissioned by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, was conducted from September 10 to 14 among 1,200 adult respondents.


A copy of the poll released to the media on Tuesday showed that support for this free tuition for students extends across all economic classes: 99% in Classes ABC, 97% in Class D, and 100% in Class E, as well as across geographic regions such as the National Capital Region at 98%, Balance Luzon at 96%, Visayas at 99%, and Mindanao at 100%.


When asked why they support free college tuition, 51% of the respondents said that it results in more graduates — 52% belong to Classes D and E, while 45% belong to Classes ABC.

“Of the 1% who are not in favor of free tuition in public universities, nearly half expressed concerns about the quality of education, while another 47% mentioned the issue of underfunding in public universities,” Gatchalian pointed out in a statement.

Parts of Pulse Asia survey released by Sen. Gatchalian's office

Parts of Pulse Asia survey released by Sen. Gatchalian’s office

According to the senator, however, youth participation in higher education has increased because of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act or the free higher education law.

The progression rate from senior high school to college has also surged to an average of 81% from 2018-2022, or when the free higher education law was already in effect, the chairman of the Senate committee on basic education further noted.

This was contrary to the progression rates recorded for Academic Years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, which stood at 54% and 62%, respectively, according to Gatchalian.

“Marami na sa ating mga kababayan ang nakinabang sa libreng kolehiyo, at mahalagang tiyakin nating patuloy nating mabibigyan ng dekalidad at abot-kayang edukasyon ang ating mga kabataan,” he said.


(Many of our fellow countrymen have already benefited from free college education, and it is important to ensure that we continue to provide our youth with quality and affordable education.)

“Titiyakin nating matatanggap ng ating mga SUCs (State Universities and Colleges) ang suportang kinakailangan nila upang makapaghatid ng dekalidad na edukasyon,” the senator added.

(We will ensure that our SUCs receive the support they need to deliver quality education.)

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Gatchalian reiterated his promise to address the looming P4.1 billion deficiency in the free higher education program of the SUCs.

TAGS: free tuition, Sherwin Gatchalian, University

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