MANILA — The government extended aid to over 2 million college students during the COVID-19 pandemic, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Prospero de Vera III said Monday.
At the virtual opening of the CHED's 27th founding anniversary, De Vera said some 1.5 million Filipino students studying in state and local universities and colleges had free tuition and miscellaneous fees through the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.
Some 400,000 students, meanwhile, received stipends under the Tertiary Education Subsidy during the pandemic while 400,000 got scholarships under the Tulong Dunong program, De Vera said.
De Vera also commended the school officials and students for the "successful nationwide implementation" of flexible learning in higher education.
"The higher education landscape has tremendously changed and continues to transform amidst the pandemic. But I am confident that we will all survive," De Vera said.
Last year, colleges and universities closed down their campuses due to the threat of COVID-19, and implemented flexible learning where students studied from their homes through a mix of online (virtual classes) and offline (printed learning materials) methods.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this year allowed select schools to hold limited in-person classes for their medical and allied health science programs to ensure that the country had enough medical frontliners.
The commission is also set to mark National Higher Education Day on Tuesday, May 18.