Tertiary state education made free in the Philippines

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed a new law that makes education at all state universities and colleges in the country tuition-free, saying he believes “the long-term benefits of the measure outweigh the short-term budgetary challenges,” despite warnings from his economic advisers that the country cannot afford it.

The bill, signed on August 3, will spare all students at government-run colleges and universities from paying tuition and other fees, effective the first semester of school year 2018-2019. The law also provides support for eligible students who are studying in private higher education institutions and will offer student loan programmes.

The tuition-free system as such is estimated to cost about $2 billion per year for the Philippines’ 114 state universities and colleges. Critics said that the new law will only become a reality if the government allocates enough and accessible funding for universities and colleges.

In fact, it will be necessary to rehash a huge part of the proposed 2018 national budget as there was no allocation of funds for the new law yet. Under Duterte’s preliminary budget for 2018, the institutions only have a total allocation of $1.3 billion out of the country’s total education budget of $13.7 billion.

However, the Philippine Commission on Higher Education placed the initial costs for the new system at a more manageable $318 million, whereby the huge difference between the two cost estimates remains unclear.

Proponents of the new law argue that it was an investment into the nation’s most precious resources, education, literacy and skills, which would empower people to overcome poverty and social inequality and provide opportunities for everybody regardless of income and social status.

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed a new law that makes education at all state universities and colleges in the country tuition-free, saying he believes “the long-term benefits of the measure outweigh the short-term budgetary challenges,” despite warnings from his economic advisers that the country cannot afford it. The bill, signed on August 3, will spare all students at government-run colleges and universities from paying tuition and other fees, effective the first semester of school year 2018-2019. The law also provides support for eligible students who are studying in private higher education institutions and will offer student loan programmes. The tuition-free...

Reading Time: 1 minute

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed a new law that makes education at all state universities and colleges in the country tuition-free, saying he believes “the long-term benefits of the measure outweigh the short-term budgetary challenges,” despite warnings from his economic advisers that the country cannot afford it.

The bill, signed on August 3, will spare all students at government-run colleges and universities from paying tuition and other fees, effective the first semester of school year 2018-2019. The law also provides support for eligible students who are studying in private higher education institutions and will offer student loan programmes.

The tuition-free system as such is estimated to cost about $2 billion per year for the Philippines’ 114 state universities and colleges. Critics said that the new law will only become a reality if the government allocates enough and accessible funding for universities and colleges.

In fact, it will be necessary to rehash a huge part of the proposed 2018 national budget as there was no allocation of funds for the new law yet. Under Duterte’s preliminary budget for 2018, the institutions only have a total allocation of $1.3 billion out of the country’s total education budget of $13.7 billion.

However, the Philippine Commission on Higher Education placed the initial costs for the new system at a more manageable $318 million, whereby the huge difference between the two cost estimates remains unclear.

Proponents of the new law argue that it was an investment into the nation’s most precious resources, education, literacy and skills, which would empower people to overcome poverty and social inequality and provide opportunities for everybody regardless of income and social status.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law that makes education at all state universities in the country tuition-free, saying he believes “the long-term benefits of the measure outweigh the short-term budgetary challenges,” despite warnings from his economic advisers that the country cannot afford it.

The bill, signed on August 3, will spare all students at government-run colleges and universities from paying tuition and other fees, effective the first semester of school year 2018-2019.

The law also provides support for eligible students who are studying in private higher education institutions and will create a student loan programme.

The tuition-free system is estimated to cost about $2 billion per year for the Philippines’ 114 state universities and colleges. Critics said that the new law will only become a reality if the government allocates enough and accessible funding for universities and colleges.

In fact, it will be necessary to rehash a huge part of the proposed 2018 national budget as there was not allocation of funds for the new law yet. Under Duterte’s proposed budget for 2018, the institutions have a total allocation of $1.3 billion out of the country’s total education budget of $13.7 billion.

However, the Philippine Commission on Higher Education placed the initial costs for the new system at a more manageable $318 million, whereby the huge difference in cost estimates remains unclear.

Proponents of the new law argue that it was an investment in the nation’s most precious resource, education, which would empower people to overcome poverty and social inequality and provides opportunities for everybody regardless of income and social status. 

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