THE Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (Ceap) expects an increase of enrollees next year coming from state universities to private institutions after President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed an Executive Order (EO) granting full tuition subsidy and tertiary education loan fund for students who cannot afford to enroll in private schools.

Speaking during Ceap National Convention 2017 on Wednesday, September 27, held at SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang, Ceap president Fr. Joel Tabora said the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act will encourage students from State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) to transfer as they will be given the opportunity to avail of private tertiary education with a minimal cost.

"Those who are recognizably poor but opt to have quality and Catholic education are given the rights to experience it," he said.

The tuition subsidy, Tabora said, is the granting of money that is equivalent to the average cost of state provision in state universities which is currently P30,000.

The students qualified to avail the subsidy will be given full tuition subsidy for enrolling to private tertiary schools with P30,000 tuition per semester.

Meanwhile, underprivileged students who prefer to study in private tertiary schools with tuitions higher than P30,000 are invited to avail of the tertiary education loan fund given by Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Social Security System (SSS).

However, Tabora said the government has insufficient budget allocation to cover all education loan applicants.

"Appropriations committee chair Karlo Nograles mentioned recently that there is enough budget to accommodate free tuition in SUCs but not enough for the loan fund," he said.

Ceap, he added, is convincing the Congress to properly allocate sufficient funding for public education in next year's budget appropriations to cater more students who want to avail education loans.