Senators call on gov’t to reconsider free tuition on SUCs

Several senators have called on President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic managers to reconsider their opposition on full government subsidy of tuition fee in state universities and colleges (SUCs).

This after Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said that the government cannot afford to spend P100 billion for free tuition in SUCs. In a statement on Wednesday, Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, author of the “Free Education for All” act, stressed that the government should invest on higher education rather than spending P70 billion dole outs a year for Conditional Cash Transfer on for poor families. For his part, Senator Win Gatchalian expressed confidence that majority of the senators would support the move to make the necessary adjustments in the budget to fund the free tuition program for SUCs. Meanwhile, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero reacted to National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Ernesto Pernia’s opposition on the free tuition policy in SUCs. Escudero stressed that free tuition and other fees in SUCs would only cost the government P14 billion, only 0.3 percent of the proposed general appropriation for the year 2018.