Close to a million students of the 114 state colleges and universities will be spared from paying tuition next year if Minority Leader Ralph Recto’s amendment to the 2017 national budget seeking to exempt them from basic matriculation is carried in the final version of the P3.35-trillion spending measure.
Recto’s amendment to appropriate P8 billion to cover tuition cost of SUC enrollees is included in the Senate version of the Duterte administration’s first budget proposal.
The proposed “Higher Education Support Fund” has been added to the budget of the Commission on Higher Education.
The fund will be distributed among 114 SUCs based on the amount of tuition each school is projected to collect next year.
For 2017, SUCs’ earnings from tuition is projected to reach P7.78 billion.
Recto said the P8 billion will only cover tuition and not cover other school fees like dormitory use and laboratory fees.
He said this will guarantee that students from poor farming and fishing families as well as those from the urban poor will not shell out money for basic matriculation.
Recto said students from 4P families are covered by the fund to guarantee that “the ‘last mile’ in their search for education is partially financed.”