Duterte 'committed' to funding free college tuition: budget chief


Posted at Sep 06 2017 09:44 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno. File/Composite

MANILA - The government has enough funds in the 2018 budget to fund the first year implementation of the free college tuition law, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Wednesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte is "committed" to making college education free by the first semester of next year, Diokno said, adding, "We will finance this one way or another."

A supplemental budget might be sought "if worse comes to worst," Diokno told reporters.

"Free tuition, I am confident we can source it from the 2018 budget," Diokno told reporters, referring to the P3.77 trillion budget proposal for next year.

"We have to find ways to cut and maybe if necessary we might need a supplemental budget," he said.

Diokno said government would not allow the creation of new state colleges and universities to better manage costs. Since the Estrada administration, he said the number of SUCs nearly doubled to 112 from 60.

"I don’t think you will get quality by creating new universities," he said.