BULACAN, Philippines – In line with the implementation of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act or commonly known as the Free Higher Education Act, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) kicked off its nationwide information caravan Friday, May 18, in the province of Bulacan.
According to Office-in- Charge and Executive Director Carmelita Yadao-Sison of the Unified Financial Assistance System For Tertiary Education, the caravan aims to educate the public on who may avail of the free tuition in state universities and colleges across the country.
“Itong universal access kasama na ang tuition, matriculation and 13 others schools fees,” said Yadao-Sison.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) allocated P40 billion pesos to fund the Free Higher Education Act which is expected to help around 1.3 million deserving students to enter government public higher education institutions.
Students who are qualified to apply for free college education are those already enrolled in SUCs, accredited local universities and colleges and those studying under TESDA provided they pass the school’s admission and retention standard.
“Free TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) po ay sa vocational technical. Pwedeng kung hindi ka pa magkokolehiyo, gusto mo munang magkaroon ng skills, free din sa TESDA,” the official added.
(Free TVET for vocational technical courses. If you’re holding off college and want to acquire technical skills, you may do so for free at TESDA.)
In exchange for free education, qualified enrollees will commit to return of service after graduation.
“Habang kayo ay estudyante, hindi after mag-graduate kayo [dapat] matuto ka nang first aid, matuto ka ng CPR, matuto ka nang (While you are a student, and not after you graduate, is when you should learn first aid, CPR and) disaster management. You become a better citizen. Ganoon po ang (That is how you) return service,” said CHED’s OIC Commissioner Prospero de Vera III. – Nestor Torres / Marje Pelayo
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