Youth party welcomes Duterte’s passage of free college tuition law

Kabataan Party-list welcomes the passage of Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act which will provide free tuition and other school fees in all SUCs, CHED-accredited local universities and colleges and TESDA-runned technical vocational institutes.

During its press conference in Pasay City, friday, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra made the announcement that President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the bill granting full government subsidy to tuition in state universities and colleges into law yesterday night, August 3.

According to Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago, “The passage of the Free Tuition Law is an initial victory not only for the youth today but also for future generations. We have to keep vigilant, however, on possible limits that may be inserted in the new law’s IRR. Also, Congress has to address the fact that our economic managers excluded any type of funding for this significant legislation in the 2018 proposed national budget.”

Guevarra told reporters that tuition in tertiary education in state universities and colleges is a very strong pillar or cornerstone of Duterte’s social development policy, weighed everything that favors its long-term benefits and efforts on funding the free tertiary education for SUCs are now underway.

Based on the 2018 National Expenditure Program, the government’s economic managers expect all state schools to collect tuition totalling P9.1 billion next year.

“Not a peso should be collected if we want to actualize the real spirit of the new law,” Elago pointed out.

“At the home front, the student movement still has a lot of battles to wage — the issue of other fees that might be collected, the actual and swift implementation of the ‘No Collection’ Policy, the high cost of other living expenses for students (food, lodging, transportation, etc), and of course, the big elephant in the room — the yet-to-be slayed high cost of matriculation in private schools,” Elago added.

“Let the passage of this law also spell doom to all other neoliberal, anti-student policies such as the Socialized Tuition Scheme that continue to burden students in the name of profit,” she said. “Lastly, we should also push not only for universal access but on quality of education. Let us spur the movement for genuine nationalist, scientific, and mass-oriented type of education.” (

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