The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) supports the inclusion of an eight billion peso (PhP8B) budget for Free Tuition for all Undergraduate Students in all State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) as a special provision in the 2017 General Appropriations Act.
In the short term, this will incrementally improve enrollment rates, and will help free up financial resources for other college expenses and needs of the students. From a wider perspective, this amount will eventually increase the available income of families.
To bring the country closer to the reality of Free College Education, the Commission will work overtime to ensure that the wisdom and specific intentions of lawmakers will be accurately reflected in the Free Tuition guidelines it is set to create. CHED will coordinate with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the Commission on Audit (COA) and other oversight government agencies to ensure the legality of all the proposed processes and procedures in the guidelines. CHED will also coordinate with all private Higher Education Institutions, both individually and through their various associations, to help ensure their role under this new policy regime. CHED will also work closely with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for improved complementation.
In light of issues and concerns raised by various sectors, CHED is aware of its responsibility to ensure that these funds are spent according to how they are intended. It will be guided by fairness, cost recovery and alignment of incentives.
CHED will ensure that the wide-reaching implications of this major reform in Higher Education will be brought about effectively, and any negative consequences will be
minimized. The timing of this reform is fortunate, as strong political will and a robust economy allows the country to embark on major reforms that were not possible in the past.
Issued this 23rd of December 2016 at the Higher Education Development Center Building, C.P. Garcia Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.
For the Commission:
Patricia B. Licuanan, Ph.D.