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Today is a victory for the Isko and Iska!

President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, a law granting free tuition fees to students of 112 state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs) and vocational schools under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

It set to be implemented on the first semester of academic year 2018-2019.

The law passage comes despite opposition from economic advisers, citing that a higher budget for and fee-free SUCs might cost the government a hefty price, which according to Budget Secretary Diokno, amounts to PHP 100 billion yearly.

But the president ultimately believed that the pros outweigh the cons, said Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Principal sponsor and co-author of the law, Senator Bam Aquino, thanked Duterte for signing the bill.

“I wish to thank the President for signing the free college tuition into law. Congratulations to my fellow lawmakers and everyone who supported this policy,” Aquino said in a statement.

Senator Loren Legarda also lauded the president’s signing of the law.

“The President’s enactment of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act is a manifestation of his commitment to provide access to higher education and better opportunities for the poor,” Legarda said in a statement.

Netizens could not contain their happiness upon seeing the news.

Meanwhile, the Senate finance and House appropriations committees vowed that they will find the needed budget to fund the law.

Legarda, who happens to be the chair of the Senate finance committee, said she will make sure that it will be funded under the 2018 budget.

What are your thoughts on the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act? We think it’s an action favorable to the future of the country.

Photo from Manila Bulletin

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