Economic managers assure lawmakers of funding for free college tuition

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 19 2023 07:55 PM

MANILA - The country's economic managers on Tuesday guaranteed funds for free college tuition despite Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno's statement that it is unsustainable.

The Development Budget Coordinating Committee, which includes Diokno, gave the assurances during the 2024 Budget deliberations at the House of Representatives through their budget sponsor, House Appropriations Committee Senior Vice Chair, Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo.

Northern Samar 1st District Rep. Paul Ruiz Daza had sought the assurances of the government that it will continue social protection programs.

"It helps many poor families in many poor areas. I hope the Committee on Appropriations would not touch those budgets down the road. Can we get that assurance?" Daza said.

"There is commitment from the DBCC that all those social protection programs will be at the very least maintained, if not expanded in the future." Quimbo said, in behalf of the DBCC.

Daza then sought clarification on Diokno's statements.

"I hope that will include education allocation, because I'm personally concerned. I think no less than the Secretary of Finance made statements about the free tuition law and the CHED subsidies. I hope that the DBCC and the good sponsor will continue to advocate [for the] continued funding for free college tuition and the other programs that's embedded in Republic Act 10931. Would you share the same sentiment?" Daza said.

"Yes absolutely, there is strong commitment from the DBCC that we will support the law on free college education and we will make sure that we will have sufficient funds to support that law. It is very important for our youth to have continued access to free college education. Importante yan para sa kinabukasan ng ating kabataan," Quimbo explained.

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