Senator Win Gatchalian received an honorary Doctor of Laws from the Bulacan State University (BulSU) in recognition of his education advocacies, including his role in the passage of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (Republic Act No. 10931) or the free higher education law.
To ensure that students at State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) will continue to receive education, Gatchalian vowed that he will continue seeking adequate funding for the law’s effective implementation.
Last year, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) reported that 1.97 million students from 220 higher education institutions did not have to pay tuition and miscellaneous fees from Academic Year (AY) 2018-2019 until AY 2021-2022.
The CHED added that in the same period, 364,168 grantees benefitted from the government’s Tulong Dunong Program and the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES), which provides additional funding for education-related costs, including books, transportation, board and lodging, and allowances for disability-related expenses, among others.
When he was still a member of the House of Representatives, Gatchalian filed the Free Higher Education Act (House Bill No. 5905), the first bill proposing a full tuition subsidy in SUCs. After winning in the 2016 Senatorial race, Gatchalian refiled his proposal, which was signed into law on August 3, 2017.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Bulacan State University para sa pagkilala ng ating mga adbokasiya upang gawing abot-kaya ang edukasyon para sa mga kabataan,” said Gatchalian.
“Patuloy nating titiyakin na makakatanggap ang mga kabataang Pilipino ng abot-kaya at dekalidad na edukasyon upang matiyak ang kanilang magandang kinabukasan,” the lawmaker added.
Last February, Gatchalian also received the honorary degree of Doctor of Education, honoris causa, from the Philippine Normal University (PNU), which recognized his leadership in the passage of landmark laws such as the Excellence in Teacher Education Act (Republic Act No. 11713), the GMRC and Values Education Act (Republic Act No. 11476), and the Instituting a Policy of Inclusion and Services for Learners with Disabilities in Support of Inclusive Education Act (Republic Act No. 11650).