Free college education expected to lapse into law next month


MANILA — A measure providing free education in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs) and tech-voc schools is expected to be passed into law on August 5 or earlier, a senator said Tuesday.

Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV made this statement Tuesday noting that the ratified version of the measure has been transmitted to the Office of the President for Pres. Duterte’s approval on July 5.

Aquino explained that unless President Duterte vetoes it or signs it earlier, it will automatically lapse into law after 30 days or on August 5.

“It is better if the President will sign this earlier so that he can include this in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24,” Aquino said in a press statement.

Aquino said that once enacted into law, Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of the Finance Committee, promised to earmark the budget for its effective implementation.

Once passed into law, education in SUCs, LUCs and vocational schools under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will be virtually free, with the government shouldering tuition, miscellaneous and other fees.

It will also make scholarship grants available to students of both public and private college and universities. The measure also has a loan program, where students can apply for financing for other education expenses.

Aquino is the principal sponsor and co-author of the Senate version of the measure during his stint as chair of the Committee on Education. Azer Parrocha/