Aquino urges government to ensure full implementation of Free College Law

Published January 1, 2019, 6:18 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Hannah Torregoza

Sen. Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV on Tuesday urged the government to ensure that the full implementation of the Free College Law would be part of its New Year’s resolution.

Senator Bam Aquino (Credit: Official Facebook account of Senator Bam Aquino | Manila Bulletin)
Senator Bam Aquino (Credits: Senator Bam Aquino via Facebook | Manila Bulletin)

Aquino said he is hoping for the complete implementation of Republic Act No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act in 2019, which covers the tuition, miscellaneous and other mandatory fees of students enrolled in public universities and colleges.

“Gawin sanang New Year’s resolution ang 100-percent compliance sa batas na Libreng Kolehiyo, (the government should ensure of a 100-percent compliance of the Free College law as part of its New Year’s resolution),” said Aquino in a statement.

“Siguraduhin natin na kahit kapos ang pamilya, makapagtatapos pa rin ng kolehiyo dahil libre na ang tuition, miscellaneous at iba pang mandatory fees sa public schools (Let us make sure that all families having a hard time putting their kids to school will have a chance to finish college because under the law tuition, miscellaneous fees and other mandatory fees in public schools are already free),” he said.

Aquino is one of the senators who pushed for the passage of the law during his term as chairman of the Senate committee on education.

The senator earlier said he received a commitment from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) that it would issue a memorandum prohibiting state universities and colleges (SUCs) from charging mandatory fees.

During a recent budget hearing, Aquino raised allegations from students that some SUCs still collect miscellaneous and other mandatory fees from students, despite the expressed prohibition under Republic Act 10931.

He urged CHED officials to strictly implement the law so that students and their families can enjoy its benefits, allowing them to cope with daily expenses amid the high prices of food and other goods.

“Sa halip na gamiting pambayad sa gastusin sa paaralan, mas maganda kung mapunta ito sa ibang pangangailangan ng pamilya, lalo na sa pagkain, damit at iba pang kailangan, (Instead of using the money to pay for bills in school, it is best it is used by the family to buy basic necessities like food, clothes and other needs,” he stressed.