Bam calls on CHED, SUCs to refund students for tuition, other fees
With the free college law now in effect, state universities and colleges (SUCs) should refund the fees they collected from students in the second semester of school year 2017-2018, Senator Bam Aquino urged on Tuesday.
In a radio interview, Aquino said the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) should be implementing Republic Act No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act for the second semester of Academic Year 2017-18.
While some SUCs have already complied with the law and stopped collecting tuition and other fees from students, he said there were some schools which continued to do so.
“Mayroon nang mga SUCs ang hindi nangolekta ngayong semester. Sa mga nangolekta na, ang gusto natin ay i-refund ang ibinayad ng mga estudyante at kanilang pamilya,” said Aquino, the principal sponsor and co-author of RA 10931 in the Senate.
“Kung tutulong tayo, huwag nang magtimpi. Lubus-lubusin na ang tulong, ipatupad na ang libreng tuition at miscellaneous fees,” he added.
On Monday, the Senate adopted Aquino’s resolution No. 620, urging the Senate to express a united front in support of the full implementation of the free college law, in light of the announcement of a June 2018 implementation by CHED.
During his sponsorship speech, Aquino noted that representatives from both houses of Congress expressly agreed on the legislative intent to implement it by November 2017 during the bicameral conference committee on the law.
He also said that during the budget deliberation for RA 10931, the CHED-Unifast (Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act) told senators that the P41 billion budget allocation was sufficient to cover the tuition and other fees in SUCs starting second semester of 2017-18.
The commitment, Aquino said, was contrary to the latest statement by CHED officer-in-charge Prospero de Vera, saying it plans to fully implement the law stating June 2018 for Academic Year 2018-19, with CHED still finalizing the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).
Aquino said he believed that with RA 10931 now in effect and an approved budget to support its execution, “there’s no reason for CHED not to attend to its immediate implementation.”
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