Thursday, August 3, 2017

Duterte signs bill granting Free Tuition to State Colleges

Duterte signs law for free tuition in state colleges

President Rodrigo Duterte approves the measure despite opposition to it previously expressed by his economic managers.

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the bill granting free tuition in state colleges and universities, Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.
Duterte signed the law ahead of the 30-day period given under the Constitution before the bill lapses into a law.

The President signed the bill despite the reluctance of some members of his economic team on the proposed measure due to the cost that will be entailed in funding free tertiary education.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier said the government may not be able to shoulder the cost of granting free tuition in SUCs. He said the government may have to shell out P100 billion annually if the bill passes into law.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, however, disagreed with the budget chief, saying the figure was “way off the mark.”
The cost of subsidizing tuition in public technical-vocational institutions and SUCs is approximately P30 billion, or less than a third of Diokno's estimate, Gatchalian said.
"Certainly, the government can afford to make this investment for the benefit of millions of young Filipinos," he earlier said in a statement.
Gatchalian, an administration ally, also countered Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia's conclusion that tuition subsidies would have minimal impact.
"By lessening the burden of educational costs on working-class households, we are giving them the chance to build a secure and happy future for themselves and their families," he said.
"This is in line with the country's long-term socioeconomic goal of building a strong middle-income society.”

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