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EDITORIAL: Equal Access

THE government recently announced the enactment of the “Anti-No Permit, No Exam Act.” This landmark legislation, now known as Republic Act No. 11984, aims to ensure that students facing financial challenges can take their exams without hindrance.

The heart of this law lies in its provisions, which empower social welfare development personnel at the municipal, city, or provincial levels, as well as those at the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWDO).

These officers are now authorized to issue certificates to disadvantaged students who find themselves in difficult circumstances due to calamities, emergencies, or other justifiable reasons.

Educational institutions in the Philippines can no longer prevent students from taking exams due to unpaid tuition and other school fees, thanks to a new law that recently took effect.

The No Permit, No Exam Prohibition Act (Republic Act No. 11984), signed by President Marcos, ensures that students are not denied the opportunity to take exams based on financial difficulties. Here are the key points:

The law applies to basic and higher education institutions as well as technical-vocational schools offering long-term courses exceeding one year.

Schools cannot require students to settle all financial obligations or secure permits before taking an examination.

While the law prohibits outright denial, schools may still ask for a promissory note from students. Additionally, they can withhold the release of records and credentials.

Students facing financial difficulties due to disasters, emergencies, or other justifiable reasons can secure a certification from the Department of Social Welfare and Development or its local office.

Institutions violating RA 11984 may face administrative sanctions imposed by the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

The authors of the law emphasized that poverty should not hinder students from pursuing education and achieving their dreams.

A Partylist representative hailed this legislation as a significant victory for students’ rights and welfare

There are senators who expressed their gratitude to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for signing this important piece of legislation.

In a statement, a senator emphasized that the “No Permit, No Exam Prohibition Act” ensures that financial constraints will no longer stand in the way of disadvantaged students meeting their academic requirements on time.

While another one promptly shared a signed copy of the bill, bearing President Marcos’ signature. The approval date, March 11, marks a turning point in the fight against educational inequality.

He underscored the importance of this law, stating, “No youth should worry that they could not take an exam or that they could not graduate because they have no funds. Poverty should never cripple them and shatter their dreams.” With these words, the senator reaffirmed the government’s commitment to providing equal opportunities for all.

Under the new law, schools are now mandated to accommodate financially disadvantaged students—from kindergarten to Grade 12—during their scheduled periodic and final examinations. This move not only levels the playing field but also recognizes that education is a fundamental right that transcends economic barriers.

As we celebrate this legislative milestone, let us remember that education holds the key to a brighter future. By ensuring that no student is left behind due to financial constraints, we take a significant step towards a more equitable and compassionate society.

Let the “Anti-No Permit, No Exam Act” be an inspiration of hope for every young dreamer, reminding them that their aspirations are within reach, regardless of their economic circumstances.


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