THE Bacolod City College (BCC) will now implement free tuition law in the opening of classes this school year 2018-2019.

This was confirmed by Bacolod City Representative Greg Gasataya on Saturday, June 3, after the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) approved the accreditation of the BCC to provide free tuition under the Universal Access to Quality Education Act.

Gasataya said he was informed by Cesar Medina, regional director of Ched, Saturday morning that they already received an order from Ched national office for the implementation of free tuition and miscellaneous fees for BCC.

This week, Ched will visit the city to discuss with the BCC to settle the payment of those students who have paid already their enrollment.

Gasataya said those who initially paid the enrollment will be reimbursed by Ched.

“All the payment will be now shouldered by Ched,” he said.

He added the neighboring state universities and colleges (SUCs) in Negros Occidental like the Carlos Hilado Memorial State College (CHMSC) and Technical University of the Philippines in Talisay City are also implementing the free tuition law.

Last year, Gasataya along with the other local officials and personnel of BCC was facilitating its accreditation with Ched to avail the free tuition program of the national government.

In April, Ched also recognized all the subjects and courses offered by BCC.

Gasataya said in the last school year, BCC has a total of around 4,000 students.

The Congress had earlier allotted P40 billion in the 2018 national budget for the implementation of the law.

“It has been a dream ever since that every family in Bacolod should have a college graduate,” Gasataya said.

Gasataya, vice chairperson of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education, said that being a son of driver and church worker, he believes that education is a way to improve the lives of the family.

Gasataya said he is thankful for the local officials led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia, and the city council for approving the BCC Charter Ordinance.

He said the city government also has a plan to improve the school’s facilities and he will work out on how the national government can assist in terms of infrastructure, training among others.

He said it is expected there will be an increase in the number of enrollees in BCC and other schools due to free tuition.

“Poverty is not a hindrance to finish college, it is an opportunity for us to avail this free tuition law and we are thankful with President Rodrigo Duterte that this program will help thousands of family nationwide,” he added.