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House OKs free college entrance exam, easy tax payment

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
House OKs free college entrance exam, easy tax payment
With 252 votes, the lower chamber passed House Bill (HB) 5001, or the proposed Free College Examination Act, during a marathon session presided over alternately by Deputy Speakers Aurelio Gonzales Jr. and Ralph Recto.
Philstar.com / File

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives unanimously approved on third and final reading last Monday night two bills that will provide free college entrance examination to underprivileged students and will simplify the payment of taxes.

With 252 votes, the lower chamber passed House Bill (HB) 5001, or the proposed Free College Examination Act, during a marathon session presided over alternately by Deputy Speakers Aurelio Gonzales Jr. and Ralph Recto.

Speaker Martin Romualdez said the measure would benefit “thousands of poor but bright students.”

“This is our commitment to help promote lifelong learning opportunities and boost sustainable development in the countryside. We know the importance of quality education in changing the world,” Romualdez added.

HB 5001 will mandate private higher education institutions to waive college entrance examination fees for graduating high school students.

This will benefit poor students belonging to the top 10 percent of their graduating class.

Under the measure, qualified students must also belong to a family “whose combined income falls below the poverty threshold, as determined by the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.”

The chamber also approved HB 4125, or the proposed Ease of Paying Taxes Act, which will establish “reasonable criteria for classifying taxpayers, taking into consideration their capacities to comply with tax rules and regulations.”

The measure provides that the Bureau of Internal Revenue shall have a special unit that will cater to the need of every class of taxpayer.

ENTRANCE EXAM

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

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