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Free tuition law, scholarship programs enforced in Bulacan
By: PPAO
Tuesday, 22 May 2018
CITY OF MALOLOS - All Filipino undergraduates enrolled in State Universities and Colleges and Commission on Higher Education - Recognized Local Universities and Colleges shall no longer pay tuition and other school fees.

This is the mandate of the Republic Act 10931 or the Programs of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act that CHED UniFAST Regional Coordinator Kate Placido, Regional III presented during the Talakayang Bulakenyo held at Mariano Ponce Hall, Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center in this city.

She explained the four major provisions including free higher education, free technical-vocational education and training (TVET), tertiary education subsidy (TES) and national student loans program.

She added that different provisions have different coverages and requirements. The free higher education are for all Filipino undergraduates that subject to admission policies of institutions; free TVET are for learners enrolled in a TESDA-registered TVET program; TES are for students from the beneficiary households of the government's 4Ps program or students residing in areas with no existing SUC or LUC and according to per capita income; and the student loans program is for all tertiary students qualified or enrolled in institutions in the Registry.

Placido said that P40 billion budget is allotted to the program.

In Bulacan, two SUCs are deemed eligible in the free tuition namely Bulacan State University and Bulacan Agricultural State College while there are four LUCs including Baliwag and Bulacan Polytechnic Colleges, Norzagaray College and Pambayang Dalubhasaan ng Marilao.

Vice Gov. Daniel R. Fernando said on behalf of Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado that now is the chance to have a quality education.

"Wala ng dahilan para sabihing mahirap lang kaya hindi makapag-aral, kahit na may edad pwede nang mag-aral ngayon kasi libre na, at kung sumobra ang inilaang tuition, hahatiin pa 'yon para maging allowance n'yo. Bukod diyan may mga sarili pa tayong scholarship program," Fernando said.

In line with this, Asst. Department Head Catherine Inocencio from the Provincial Administrator's Office shared that there are still scholarship programs under the Tulong Pang-Edukasyon para sa Kabataang Bulakenyo that Bulakenyos can avail including Educational Assistance worth P3,000, Academic Scholarship, Masteral Scholarship both with P5,000 grant and Financial Assistance of P3,000 that all comes with their respective requirements.

Inocencio added that at present, there are 4,037 beneficiaries of the said program and said that P50 million budget is alloted for this.

Meanwhile, Senior Education Program Specialist Bryan Amiel De Jesus from Department of Education-Bulacan said that under Memorandum No. 50 s'18, the Oplan Balik-Eskwela which started on May 21-June 8 is set up in order to answer queries and ensure that learners are able to attend the class and are properly enrolled.

He also encouraged volunteers to join in the National Schools Maintenance Week or Brigada Eskwela that will kick-off come May 28-June 02, 2018.

Volunteers for Brigada Eskwela in 2017 totalled to 270,856 individuals compared to 149,420 in 2016.

For more information, please contact CHED RO3 at tel. no. (045) 455 1662 and DepEd-Bulacan in (044) 795 0421, or visit the Provincial Government of Bulacan for available scholarship programs.

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