STUDENTS around the country would no longer have to worry before their examinations if the bill filed by Rep. Ann Matibag of San Pedro City of the first district of the province of Laguna — the Anti-No Permit, No Exam bill — becomes law.
Known for her initiatives for the youth and mothers all over the archipelago, the former Laguna provincial board member informed the public that the House Bill (HB) 1486 has passed on first reading in the House of Representatives.
Despite the ongoing global inflation caused by the COVId-19 pandemic and the rise in fuel prices, Rep. Matibag explained that the right of Filipino students to study in private and public universities must not be affected.
Her measure seeks to allow students to take their preliminary, midterm, or final examinations without needing to secure a permit as proof of payment of tuition and other school fees.
“It is high time to get rid of the no-permit, no-exam policy being imposed by schools and most universities,” Matibag said, who earlier got the nod in Congress when her anti-trans fat bill was also passed on first reading.
“Every student has a right to finish their studies,” she added. “Now that the opening of classes is near, no student should have their education interrupted just because he or she cannot pay tuition fees at the moment.”
Matibag believes that education is not a privilege but an absolute right — reassuring parents that their children should be able to pursue their education without heavy pressure to settle debts as soon as possible.
“In my explanatory note, it is time to have an act penalizing the “no permit, no exam policy in all educational institutions,” she said. “This is consistent with state policy to prioritize education, science, and technology, arts, and sports to foster patriotism.”
Despite this mandate, many schools and college universities still prohibit their students to take the exams if they don’t pay their tuition fees when they are due.
Matibag added she is sad to learn that some colleges and universities are capitalizing on hybrid classes, which cost them less on overhead expenses such as electricity and maintenance.
“We cannot allow our students and their parents to be exploited and used as milking cows, especially during these hard economic times. The present condition is very depressing. We must correct it to guarantee the universal right to education of the Filipino youth,” Matibag added.
The Department of Education has announced the resumption of classes on August 22 for school year 2022-2023, while the full implementation of face-to-face classes will start on November 2, 2022.