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Lacson: Duterte approving free SUCs tuition ‘showed where his heart is’

/ 03:34 PM August 04, 2017
Panfilo Lacson

Sen. Panfilo Lacson (Philippine Daily Inquirer file photo)

“It only shows where President (Rodrigo) Duterte’s heart really is,” Senator Panfilo Lacson said this after the President unexpectedly approved the much-contested bill granting free tuition for state universities and colleges (SUCs) on Friday.

READ: Duterte signs into law bill granting free tuition in SUCs

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Lacson lauded Duterte for going against strong opposition from his economic managers, who said the government’s budget would not be enough to subsidize the tuition in state universities and colleges (SUCs).

“Obviously, he went against the advice of his economic managers. For one, I know there’s money in the national budget to fund the free tuition law,” the senator said in a text message.

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Like in the budget allocation last year, Lacson said the Senate collectively intends to transfer a substantial amount of the country’s budget to SUCs.

“As what the Senate had collectively accomplished under the 2017 GAA (General Appropriations Act), we managed to realign P8.3 billion from the pork allocations of congressmen to SUC’s through CHED (Commission on Higher Education),” he said.

“That is how we intend to do it again under the proposed 2018 budget. God bless the Philippines and its deserving students,” he said.

Earlier, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the budget requirements of the bill would set back the government by a significant amount.

Diokno said the bill, now a law, will require the government to spend P100 billion yearly. JPV

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TAGS: free tuition, President Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Ping Lacson, Senate of the Philippines, SUCs
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