MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday vowed to implement the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act by the end of the year.
"For Universal . . . libre edukasyon. Totoo talaga. You can trust us na we will implement it this year. Second semester, libre na," Duterte said in a speech during the birthday celebration of Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles.
The government needs P20 billion to implement the free tuition law, according to Commission on Higher Education commissioner Prospero De Vera.
De Vera said about P16.8 billion would be allocated to 112 state universities and colleges and 16 local universities and colleges.
Senator Bam Aquino, one of the authors of the free tuition law, said it will not cover students with failing grades.
"Iyong intention po namin sa Senate, kung may bagsak then the next semester, hindi ka puwedeng mag-avail. Pero kung naayos mo naman iyon at pumasa ka na, pwede ka nang mag-avail ulit," Aquino told DZMM.
On Aug. 4, Duterte signed the bill into law granting free tuition in state-run universities, colleges, and technical-vocational schools.
He previously acknowledged that the free-tuition law has funding concerns.
--With reports from Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News