Free tertiary education bill up for Palace approval
Senator Bam Aquino expects that by August 5 or earlier, a bill that would provide free education in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs) and tech-voc schools would become a law.
Aquino said the ratified version of the measure was already transmitted to the Office of the President for approval last July 5 and unless President Rodrigo Duterte vetoes or signs it earlier, then the senator said it would automatically lapse into law after 30 days or on August 5.
“Mas maganda kung ito’y pipirmahan ng Pangulo nang maaga upang maibalita niya sa sambayanang Pilipino sa kanyang State of the Nation Address (Sona) sa ika-24 ng Hulyo,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
(It’s better for the President to sign it earlier so he can report it to the people in his state of the nation address on July 24)
Aquino previously headed the Senate committee on education until he decided to leave the majority and join the minority group in the chamber.
Once enacted into law, he said, Senator Loren Legarda, chairman of the Senate committee on finance, promised to earmark the necessary budget for its effective implementation.
Aquino explained that under the measure, education in SUCs, LUCs and vocational schools under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will be virtually free, with the government shouldering tuition, miscellaneous and other fees.
The bill, he said, would also make scholarship grants available to students of both public and private college and universities.
“The measure also has a loan program, where students can apply for financing for other education expenses,” said the senator. Maila Ager / JPV/rga
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