Senator Win Gatchalian is urging the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to ensure that all 118 local universities and colleges (LUCs) in the country become eligible to offer free tuition under the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017 (Republic Act 10931), a move that provides free quality tertiary education.
CHED recently signed an agreement with the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFast) and 27 LUCs that will be offering free tertiary education for Academic Year 2019-2021. Aside from free tuition, CHED-accredited LUCs also offer subsidies. Previously, there were 76 LUCs that have started offering free tertiary education and subsidies since the law took effect in 2017.
The law mandates LUCs to comply with certain policies, guidelines, and standards so they can offer free tuition. With only 15 more LUCs that have yet to be accredited, Gatchalian said that CHED should coordinate closely with these institutions to help them meet their prerequisites and become eligible to offer free tuition and subsidies.
“Mahalaga ang papel ng mga lokal na pamantasan at mga kolehiyo upang gawing abot-kaya ang dekalidad na edukasyon. Kung masisiguro natin na may kakayahan ang lahat ng mga paaralang ito na magbigay ng libreng edukasyon, mas marami tayong matutulungan na mga kabataan sa iba’t ibang panig ng bansa na makapagtapos at magkaroon ng maayos na kinabukasan” said Gatchalian, co-author and co-sponsor of the free tuition law.
“Isang mahalagang reporma sa ating sistema ng edukasyon kung maibibigay natin ito nang libre sa ating mga pampublikong pamantasan at mga kolehiyo. Sa puntong ito, ang layunin natin ay masigurong naipapatupad natin nang wasto ang batas upang makinabang dito ang bawat kabataang Filipino,” Gatchalian added.
Aside from LUCs, Republic Act 10931 also covers state universities (SUCs) and colleges and state-run technical vocational institutions.