98% of Pinoys favor free college education | Inquirer News

98% of Pinoys favor free college education

/ 05:38 AM October 25, 2023

98% of Pinoys favor free college education

STATE SCHOLARS The University of the Philippines Oblation stands tall in front of the administration building in Diliman Campus in Quezon City, where the premier state university is located. —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

A whopping 98 percent of Filipino respondents have expressed disapproval of proposals for the government to overhaul the current free college education program, a Pulse Asia survey showed.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate committee on basic education, said the survey shows that respondents still favor free tuition in state universities.


“Since many of our countrymen are already reaping the benefits of free college education, it is important that we give assurance that our youth will get the high standard of education that they deserve,” he said.


“We will make sure that SUCs (state universities and colleges) will get the funding support they need to allow them to continue delivering quality education,” Gatchalian added.

Gatchalian released the results of the Pulse Asia survey just days after faculty and student organizations of four SUCs called on Congress to restore the budget cuts of their schools under the 2024 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

In a statement, teachers and student representatives of the University of the Philippines , Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Philippine Normal University and Eulogio Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology demanded that lawmakers realign the confidential and intelligence funds to augment funding for the SUCs.

Funding for the SUCs in the 2024 budget faces a deficiency of P4.1 billion for free higher education.

P4.1-B shortfall

Earlier this month, Gatchalian said he would work to divert some of the intelligence funds allocated in the 2024 budget for several national government offices to cover the P4.1-billion shortfall in the free higher education program of the SUCs.

Under the House-approved 2024 GAA, a total P4.864 billion in confidential funds and P5.277 billion in intelligence funds was earmarked for various agencies.


The executive branch has been planning a revamp of Republic Act No. 10931, or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017, with Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno expressing concern that the current program is unsustainable.

Citing the survey results, Gatchalian said the support for free higher education extends across all economic classes: 99 percent in Classes ABC, 97 percent in Class D, and 100 percent in Class E.

The program is also well received across geographic regions in the country such as the National Capital Region at 98 percent; Balance Luzon at 96 percent; Visayas at 99 percent; and Mindanao at 100 percent, the survey showed.

The survey was conducted from Sept. 10 to Sept. 14 this year, according to Gatchalian.

The respondents cited the increase in the number of graduates as the top reason why Filipinos support free tuition in public universities, according to Gatchalian.

“This may highlight the respondents’ belief that a college degree is the path toward a higher quality of life and better opportunities,” he said.

More graduates

Gatchalian pointed out that RA 10931 has bolstered youth participation in higher education.

He noted that from 2018-2022, when the free higher education law was already in effect, the progression rate from senior high school to college has surged to an average of 81 percent.

For academic years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, before the Free Higher Education Law was implemented, the progression rates from high school to college stood at 54 and 62 percent, respectively, he said.

When asked why they support free college tuition, more than half (51 percent) of the survey’s 1,200 adult respondents said that it results in more graduates.

About 52 percent of respondents from Classes D and E, and 45 percent of those in Class ABC believe that free tuition in public universities leads to more graduates.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Of the 1 percent who are not in favor of free tuition in public universities, nearly half expressed concerns about the quality of education, while another 47 percent mentioned the issue of underfunding in public universities. INQ

TAGS: free college education

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.