More than 500 tertiary stakeholders in the MiMaRoPa Region attended the Nationwide Information Caravan in Calapan City.

“Promissory notes will be a thing of the past.”

With the implementation of the Republic Act (RA) 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTEA) this coming school year, parents of students enrolled in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), CHED-recognized Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs), and state-run Technical-Vocational Institutions (TVIs), will no longer worry about paying tuition and miscellaneous fees.

The assurance was made by Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) Governing Board member and Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) President Dr. Tirso Ronquillo on Wednesday in his keynote address at the Nationwide Information Caravan on RA 10931 in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.

Ngayon, inaasahan natin na wala nang magiging hadlang sa mga magulang na makapagtapos ang kanilang mga anak sa kolehiyo. Kung noong una, ito ay para lang dapat sa mga SUC, in-expand po sa batas ang coverage. Isinama ang CHED-recognized LUCs, at isinama rin po ang mga institution na accredited ng TESDA. Kailangan talaga nating pasalamatan ang ating pangulo, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for finally signing this into law. Talagang change is coming, and it has come,” said Ronquillo, who is also the President of Batangas State University.

UniFAST Governing Board member and PASUC President Dr. Tirso Ronquillo thanked President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for signing into law RA 10931.

There are four programs under RA 10931: 1) Free Higher Education wherein the government will provide free tuition, miscellaneous and other similar or related fees to students admitted in SUCs and CHED-recognized LUCs, 2) Free Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for those enrolled in state-run TVIs, 3) Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) or grants-in-aid, and 4) national Student Loan Program (SLP).

At the caravan, UniFAST Officer-in-Charge Executive Director Atty. Carmelita Yadao-Sison also clarified to the audience the list of “miscellaneous and other school fees,” as defined by the law.

Ang labing-tatlong fees na iyan ay pinagkasunduan namin ng PASUC. Ang PASUC din po ang tinanong kung anu-ano ang fees na isasama sa Implementing Rules and Regulations (ng batas). Kasama po rito ang Library fee, computer fee, school identification fee, athletic fee, admission fee, development fee, guidance fee, handbook fee, entrance fee, registration fee, medical and dental fee, and cultural fee,” Sison said.

UniFAST OIC-Executive Director Atty. Carmelita Yadao-Sison enumerated the 13 miscellaneous and other school fees that the government will reimburse.

She also emphasized that UniFAST will be strict in monitoring if SUCs and LUCs are complying with the “No Collection of Miscellaneous Fee” rule.

In MiMaRoPa Region, there are eight public higher education institutions that will offer Free Education starting AY 2018-2019, namely:

·         Marinduque State College

·         Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology

·         Occidental Mindoro State College

·         Palawan State University

·         Romblon State University

·         Western Philippine State University

·         Baco Community College

·         City College of Calapan