MANILA - Senator Bam Aquino on Thursday called on state universities and colleges to refund students any fees collected during the second semester of the current school year.
President Rodrigo Duterte in August last year signed a law granting free tuition in SUCs, local universities and colleges, and state-run technical- vocational institutes.
"May probisyon doon na 'di na puwedeng mangolekta yung ating SUCs ng kahit anong bayarin sa kahit sa mga estudyante. And we want CHED (Commission on Higher Education) to implement this ASAP," Aquino told ABS-CBN News.
(There is a provision barring SUCs from collecting any fee from students. And we want CHED to implement this ASAP.)
"Mag-refund na lang sila. Anyway kung mangako sila 'we will refund kapag ready na kami', at least may pinanghahawakan ang mga estudyante," he added.
(They should refund students. Anyway, if they promise 'we will refund when we're ready,' at least the students can hold on to that.)
Some schools reportedly failed to comply with the free tuition law. The CHED believes that the measure should take effect in the next school year, said Aquino.
But the senator, who was among the authors of the law, said Congress had allotted funds so that students could enjoy free tuition starting this semester.
The law's lack of implementing rules and regulations should not be an issue, he added. The IRR is expected to be released in March.
"Yung mga administrative concerns, di po kasalan ng mga bata, di kasalanan ng mga magulang na kailangan pang mangutang para makabayad sa second semester," he said.
(Administrative concerns are not the fault of the children, the parents who have to borrow money just to pay for the second semester.)
Report from Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News