Gov’t ‘unpreparedness’ on free tuition disappoints Kabataan partylist
A militant youth representative on Tuesday expressed disappointment on how the government would source the budget to fund the recently signed law granting free tuition to state universities and colleges (SUCs).
Kabataan Rep. Sarah Jane Elago issued this reaction following the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that the government will still find ways to finance the free tuition law.
“‘Yan nga ang problema ngayon. Gusto kong tanungin sa inyo. Mag-konsulta pa ako. Ewan ko (That’s the problem now. I want to ask you. I still have to consult. I don’t know),” Duterte said in a briefing.
Elago was not pleased with the President’s reaction, adding that the funding for the recently signed law was only a matter of priority.
“Duterte has just exposed his inutility. He is desperately trying to placate the angry youth by signing the bill, and has no real regard for the welfare of the youth. After all, isn’t he the same President that commanded to bomb Lumad schools in Mindanao?” Elago said, referring to the President’s earlier call to bomb Lumad schools for allegedly propagating subversive ideas.
“It’s not a question of funds, but rather of priorities… Funds for implementing and funding free education are easily allocatable,” she added.
The President signed the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education into law, granting free tuition subsidy to SUCs, even though his economic managers advised him against it, warning of a whopping P100 billion cost to government.
Duterte signed the law amid an P8.3 billion SUC tuition subsidy approved by Congress last year, realigned from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) budget to the Commission on Higher Education. JPV
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