Senators want everyone to go to college
Several senators are pushing for free college education for poor students, initiating this week committee hearings on six bills that would have the government fully subsidize the tuition at state universities and colleges (SUCs).
Sen. Bam Aquino, chair of the committee on education and author of one of the measures, yesterday expressed confidence the bills would pass within the year.
“We’re quite hopeful these will pass. It is important to give help to poor students in SUCs. There are many of us who are really pushing for this,” Aquino said in a statement after a committee hearing with the education sector in attendance Wednesday.
“I think we owe it to our students to go through a tedious process to refine the bill. But I’m confident that we can get this done within a year,” he said.
The pending bills are Aquino’s Free Higher Education for All Act, Sen. Francis Pangilinan’s Tuition Free Higher Education Act of 2016, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian’s Free Higher Education Act, Sen. JV Ejercito’s Tuition-Free Higher Education Act of 2016, Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara’s One Family, One Graduate Act, and Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto’s Free Public College Tuition Act of 2016.
Aquino said the education committee will conduct several technical working group sessions to consolidate the six bills toward “a version that will truly help poor students who want to finish college.”
Several resource persons proposed expanding the subsidy to cover miscellaneous fees, transportation and living expenses for poor students, apart from the full tuition subsidy.