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Senator Gatchalian commends Valenzuela City’s Free Higher Education Ordinance

A Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela (PLV) student receives her college diploma from PLV president Dr. Nedena Torralba during its April 2016 commencement exercises. Students from two locally-funded higher education institutions are expected to benefit from the Free Higher Education Ordinance. (Photo by Mark Cayabyab)

Senator Win Gatchalian commended the Valenzuela City Government for its push to establish a free education policy at its local universities and colleges, touting the city’s landmark education reform as an example to be followed by public universities across the Philippines.

The proposed City Ordinance No. 2016-011, which carries the strong support of Mayor Rex Gatchalian and his administration’s supermajority in the Valenzuela City Council, seeks to allocate an estimated P200 million per year to completely subsidize the cost of education for all students enrolled at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela and Valenzuela Polytechnic College. 

“Valenzuela City’s Free Higher Education Ordinance shows the city’s unwavering commitment to providing access to quality education at all levels to its citizens. I am so proud of my city and my fellow Valenzuelanos,” said Gatchalian, a former three-term mayor and two-term congressman of Valenzuela City.

Gatchalian, whose tenure as mayor of Valenzuela City was marked by significant reforms focused on improving the state of education, encouraged other cities and municipalities to follow suit and work toward establishing free education at their respective local universities and colleges.

Gatchalian also renewed his call to establish a free tuition policy in State Universities and Colleges, urging Senate Education Committee Chairman Bam Aquino to take action on Gatchalian’s priority bill, Senate Bill No. 198, also known as the “Free Higher Education Act”.

Aquino has also filed a similar bill calling for free education in SUCs.

“This promising news from my hometown has inspired me to work double-time to make sure that bright but underprivileged students in cities and towns across the entire country will be given the opportunity to follow their dreams and secure the quality college education they deserve. I hope to work closely with my colleagues in the Senate to turn our vision of tuition-free SUCs into a reality,” said Gatchalian, the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Education Committee.