OPPOSITION Senator Bam Aquino lambasted state college and university (SUC) administrations for continuously collecting miscellaneous and other mandatory fees from poor students despite a law that makes it illegal.
During dialogues with different sectors Aquino learned that some SUCs are still collecting miscellaneous and other mandatory fees from students.
“Kahit mayroon nang batas, may naririnig pa rin tayong ilang SUCs na hindi sumusunod dito at patuloy ang paniningil ng mga bayarin na hindi na dapat pang kinokolekta mula sa mga estudyante,” Aquino said.
Aquino reminded the students who are enrolled in SUCs that it is their right not to pay tuition and other mandatory fees under Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of which he is the principal sponsor.
“Isang taon na mula nang maisabatas ang Free College Law. Sa ilalim nito, karapatan ninyong hindi magbayad ng tuition at miscellaneous fees sa SUCs,” Aquino pointed out.
During the Commission on Higher Education’s budget hearing, Sen. Aquino warned SUCs against collecting fees from students.
In addition, Aquino called on the government to fully implement the Free College Law, saying it should not deprive poor students a chance at a better life through education.
“Prayoridad dapat ang edukasyon. Ito ang susi sa kaunlaran ng pamilyang Pilipino,” he said. “Lalo na ngayong matindi and pagtaas ng presyo, bigyan ng ginhawa ang mga Pilipino,” he added.
Republic Act 10931 provides free tuition and miscellaneous fees to students in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs) and TESDA-run vocational schools.
Also, the law allows students of both public and private colleges and universities to apply for scholarship grants and student loans.