Free tuition for students of SUCs under 2017 nat’l budget

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/16 December) — Students who will enroll in any state college or university, including the University of the Philippines, will no longer pay for tuition fee starting next school year as it will now be funded under the 2017 national budget.

In a press release, Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the senate committee on finance, said the additional P8-billion allocation under the Commission on Higher Education will serve this purpose.

She said both Houses of Congress has approved the proposed 2017 General Appropriations Act worth P3.350 trillion and is expected to be signed by the President before Christmas.

“One of the long-standing concerns of poor families is bringing their children to college because after finishing high school in public schools, most of them have no means to pay for tuition fee in SUCs. The 2017 national budget addresses this concern,” she said.

She clarified that while the budget only covers tuition fee, indigent students may still avail of grants and aid for miscellaneous fees under various programs.

Legarda added that college students belonging to family-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) are covered by the Expanded Students’ Grants in Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA).

She said those who are not part of the 4Ps can avail of financial assistance for educational purposes under the Student Financial Assistance Programs (StuFAPs) both under CHED and SUCs.

Under the proposed 2017 national budget, P5.753 billion is allotted for StuFAP, she said.

The senator urged the CHED and SUCs to ensure that the funds will go to the intended beneficiaries. (MindaNews)