Lawmaker: Death of UP student a wakeup call-A A +A
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
THE tragic death of University of the Philippines (UP) Manila student Kristel Pilar Mariz Tejada due to inability to pay tuition should not happen again, Team Pnoy senatorial candidate Edgardo Angara said Tuesday.
“College education should be within reach, not out of reach for those with the commitment to getting it,” said Angara, referring to the alleged suicide Tejada due to lack of money to pay tuition.
Angara proposed three policy reforms to help the poor get college education without the heavy burden on where to source money to pay for tuition.
Angara cited examples like to use the conditional cash transfer (CCT) or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to fund one college scholar per family, to expand the “study-now-pay-later” program of the government, and to allow students to take exams through promissory notes.
Angara first filed the expanded study-now-pay-later bill in 2010 and re-filed it in the 15th Congress. Five years ago, he sought to liberalize the policy on taking college exams based on the commitment to pay later through promissory notes.
“What can be done right now is to reformat the cash grants under the education component of the Conditional Cash Transfer, or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program,” Angara said.
Angara has a pending draft law in Congress on the second option which seeks the implementation of an expanded study-now-pay-later program with a broader reach and reasonable terms.
The third can be done via legislation or executed by schools themselves.
Angara, chair of the House committee on higher and technical education, said education is not only the priority of government under the Constitution but also the most cost-efficient investment of the state to its citizens.
“We do not need another death to convey the primacy of educational investment,” he said. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)