Free tuition IRR overdue

Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - March 2, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), along with the Department of Budget and Management, should release as soon as possible the implementing rules and regulations in relation to the government’s free college education, a lawmaker said yesterday.

1-Ang Edukasyon party-list Rep. Salvador Belaro Jr. cited as reason, among others, the latest Social Weather Stations survey on adult joblessness that has reached 1.2 million which underscores the need for free tertiary education for the underprivileged.

 “The latest findings of the SWS survey on adult joblessness is a telling sign that the affected 11.2 million adults will have great difficulty sending their dependents to school in the coming school year,” the former school administrator said.

Belaro called on both private and public schools nationwide to be “more sensitive than ever now to the financial troubles of Filipino families when they figure out how much fees they will be charging in the next academic year,” which is between June to August this year.

The deadline for higher education institutions nationwide to conduct their tuition consultations with their stakeholders was last Feb. 28, as per the CHED memorandum on tuition increases.

  “Having senior high school as a buffer before college or higher technical training now allows Filipino families to prepare well and save for their kids’ education,” Belaro said.

The former college of law dean urged the budget department and CHED “to release very soon” the implementing rules and regulations on free college tuition in state universities and colleges nationwide.

“The month of March is the right time to release the IRR so families with college-ready students for June and August will have enough time to prepare,” the administration lawmaker said.

“While our country needs youths needed for the workplace, we also need more students to take up sports, arts and humanities as careers. Less than 2,000 are in the sports track and less than 3,000 took the arts and design track in the current school year,” he stressed.    

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