Local government officials in Davao region, the home of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, vowed to support the implementation of RA 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTEA).
At the ninth leg of the Nationwide Information Caravan on R.A. 10931 on Wednesday at the University of Southeastern Philippines, no less than Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and Davao City 1st District Representative Karlo Nograles showed their support to the monumental Law.
“To all students, consider this program a blessing, a favor that will take you closer to your and your family’s aspiration. To the proponents of this program– the government, let it be known that the Davao City government is one with you in hopes that in time, education can truly become a right and no longer just privilege among young Filipino hopefuls,” said Duterte-Carpio in her statement read by Philippine Councilors League’s National Chairman and Davao City Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang.
Starting Academic Year (AY) 2018-2019, UAQTEA will provide free tuition, miscellaneous and other similar or related fees as defined in the Law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations to students admitted in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and CHED-recognized Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs). It also provides a Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) or grants-in-aid, free Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for those enrolled in state-run Technical Vocational Institutions (TVIs), and a national Student Loan Program (SLP).
Guest of honor Congressman Karlo Nograles, who is also the House Appropriations Committee Chairperson, guaranteed the budgetary support to the Free Education Law in the coming years.
“Igagarantiya po natin na kada budget mayroon pong nakapaloob dito for the full implementation of this Law. So, whether PhP40 billion iyan, PhP45 billion next year, or PhP50 billion, committed tayo sa batas na ito because gusto nating mangyari na lahat ng mga kabataan natin na gustong makapag-aral ay may access sa free education. Napakaganda po ng timing dahil… tugma talaga because we have to remember this is also the year when the first batch of K to 12 students will graduate from school” said Nograles.
Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) Officer-in-Charge Executive Director Atty. Carmelita Yadao-Sison meanwhile assured the public that the budget for UAQTEA will be spent responsibly.
“Towards its vision, it is the Mission of the Governing Board and the Secretariat of UniFAST to uphold its enabling law RA 10687 in complementation with other relevant laws, to ensure the highest standards of policy formulation with the widest public consultation, efficient and productive program management, and a proper, transparent and accountable allocation of public resources without any hint of Graft and Corruption,” Sison said.
Almost a thousand representatives from the tertiary education sector from Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, and Davao Oriental attended the Region XI leg of the caravan.
The following are the Davao region-based public HEIs that will provide Free Higher Education:
· Compostela Valley State College
· Davao del Norte State College
· Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology
· Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology
· University of Southeastern Philippines
· Kapalong College of Agriculture, Sciences and Technology
· Governor Generoso College of Arts, Sciences and Technology
· Monkayo College of Arts, Sciences and Technology
· Kolehiyo ng Pantukan