President Rodrigo Duterte has stated that the free tuition fees planned in state universities and colleges next year will be granted primarily to poor students that excel in their studies.
The president’s statement was released in Congress last week where he brought into light the importance of giving priority to the marginalized sector, GMA News Online, reports.
“It is important to underscore that we must still give priority to financially disadvantaged but academically able students,” he said.
Duterte’s statement comes after P8.3 billion in funding was realigned to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as part of the P3.35-trillion national budget of 2017.
Meanwhile, CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan revealed some details of the free tuition plan to ABS-CBN News.
“Basically, yes, the intention is all state universities and colleges would no longer charge undergraduate tuition. So that 8 billion is supposed to cover undergraduate tuition in all state universities and colleges,” she said.
“We are supposed to work out the guidelines and how this is going to be implemented but that’s still a work in progress,” she added.
Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno for his part said everything regarding the plan was still being ironed out by the involved government agencies.
“The 'free tuition' for the 14 state universities and colleges will be subject to guidelines to be jointly prepared by the DBM and CHED,” he said.
The free tuition system is expected to be officially implemented during school year 2017-18.