Bam slams delay in release of guidelines for additional subsidy for students

Bam Aquino Manila Bulletin

While tuition and miscellaneous fees are already free in state universities and colleges (SUCs), students in private school have yet to benefit from the provision of the Free College Law that provides a Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) for poor but deserving students who choose to go to private schools.

Senator Bam Aquino blamed this on the delay in the release of guidelines, including the memorandum of agreement between the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) UNIFAST and private higher educational institutions (HEIs).

“Huwagpahirapanangmgaestudyante at magulang. Dapatayusinnaangsistema para mapakinabangantalagaangbatasnatin para saLibrengKolehiyo (Don’t let the students and parents suffer. We should fix the system so that the Free College law may be availed),” said Senator Bam, principal sponsor of the free college law.

A part of the free college law, the TES is a subsidy for financially disadvantagd students to cover other costs of education, such as food, books and living expenses, as well as education expenses of poor but deserving students who choose to study in private colleges and universities.

As a vital element of the free college law, Senator Bam said its guidelines should be released by the CHED as soon as possible to avoid confusion in schools.

As of now, only SUCs and LUCs have access to the portal and students need to go to their school after enrollment to access it. Schools will then input the student’s name before requiring them to submit additional documentary needs.

“The implementation of this law should not be slowed down by bureaucracy. Mgabata at angkanilangmgapamilyaangnaaapektuhan ng red tape. (The students and their parents are the ones affected by the red tape),” Senator Bam stressed.

The CHED has already released around P4 billion to around 200,000 TES beneficiaries in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs).

Senator Bam said, however, that the CHED has yet to release the remaining P11.2 billion fund allocated for the TES in the 2018 budget.

Recently, Senator Bam convinced the CHED to issue a memorandum prohibiting state universities and colleges (SUCs) from charging mandatory fees. (Source: Senate of the Philippines)