By Juan Escandor Jr.
NAGA CITY---Cong. Karlo Nograles, chair of the House Committee on Budget and Appropriation, is calling all senior high school students to take entrance exams in state colleges and universities to avail of the free tuition and miscellaneous fees and enroll in 2018-19 school year.
Nograles, who graced as guest speaker of an awarding ceremony of the University of Nueva Caceres (UNC) last week, said the students who passed the entrance examination for the June 2018 enrollment must not worry about paying for their tuition and miscellaneous fees because the government has P40-billion budget to subsidize their college education.
He added that the free tuition fees and miscellaneous fees also apply to those studying in private universities and colleges.
“We know that not all students live within the vicinity of state colleges and universities. So, we included private institutions with component on tertiary education subsidy so that it can be used for private schools and student loan program,” he said.
Nograles said the practice of providing college scholarships to deserving poor students they implemented in Davao, where he is the first district representative of three terms, is the model of the free tertiary education program which was translated into House Bill, then approved by the Bi-Cameral Committee and signed by President Duterte.
He said President Duterte’s advisers discouraged the chief executive and raised the question where the government gets the huge funding for the free tertiary education law.
“But the President did not hesitate signing the law and he challenged us to find funding. So, we scrutinized the budget and we were able to pool P40 billion,” Nograles revealed.
He said it is his belief that education can alleviate the poor families and help themselves without depending on the government.
Nograles said the free tertiary education law they enacted would contribute in resolving the cycle of poverty many families bear.
He said the Congress will continuously fund the free tertiary education law in the General Appropriation Act.