AN OFFICIAL of the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) announced that 50,000 students from Zamboanga Peninsula are set to initially benefit from free higher education pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 10931 otherwise known as the Universal Access to Quality Education Act.
Dr. Juanito Demetrio, Ched regional director, made this announcement during the launching of the nationwide information caravan for RA 10931 on Monday, March 5, in Zamboanga City.
RA 10931 that grants free higher education was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 3, 2017.
The National Government has an initial budget allocation of P40 billion for the implementation of RA 10931 effective school year 2018 to 2019.
Based on RA 10931, the students may enroll at any course in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs) with free tuition and miscellaneous fees.
The miscellaneous fees include the following: library, computer, laboratory, school ID, athletic, admission, development, guidance, handbooks, entrance, registration, medical and dental, and cultural.
Lawyer Carmelita Yadao-Sison, OIC executive director of the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST), said many will benefit from the program as K to 12 graduates are expected to go to college this year.
“There will be an influx of students since we already have K to 12 graduates who will enroll in college,” Sison said.
Also to benefit from the free higher education are the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and those in the Technical Vocational Educational Institutions.
Sison said there is no more reason for a student not to finish studies since the program, through RA 10931, in already in place.
The nationwide information caravan for RA 10931 held here on Monday was the first to be conducted in the entire country.
Those who attended the caravan were education stakeholders from all over Zamboanga Peninsula.