(UPDATED) University of the Philippines Diliman chancellor Michael Tan on Tuesday said the state university will not collect tuition from students for the first semester of academic year 2017-2018.
"There will be no collection of tuition until [the] government is clear about their plan," Tan told the Philippine Collegian, the university's official student newspaper.
"They are not clear yet as to how much the subsidy there will be, [whether it be] partial or complete, and who will be eligible. Until they clarify, we will not collect any amount from students."
Last June, students and youth groups camped out in UP Diliman for four days and protested in front of the Commission on Higher Education office in Quezon City to oppose the government's "flawed" free tuition policy in state colleges and universities.
In a statement, Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago said the U.P. President’s Advisory Council has endorsed to U.P. President Danilo Concepcion the nationwide implementation of the “No Tuition Collection Policy" in U.P.
“This is great economic relief to students bearing the cross of UP's Socialized Tuition System (STS) for several years, and should render the online scholarship process futile,” the statement read.
“We enjoin everyone to remain steadfast, to push for the implementation of free tuition in all campuses and SUCs, and to advance the struggle to junk STS and other policies that legitimize profiteering in education.”
U.P. Professor Danilo Arao lauded Tan's announcement and praised student groups that fight for free education.
"It remains to be seen if the 'no tuition collection policy' at UPD will result in the junking of the Socialized Tuition System," he said.
"There is reason to welcome this development, but the struggle remains in terms of not just junking STSystem but also that free tuition shall be sustained at UPD."