Licuanan urges Congress to pass law for free tuition in SUCs

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 22 2016 01:17 PM | Updated as of Dec 22 2016 01:29 PM

MANILA - Tuition may be free in state universities and colleges in 2017, but Commission on Higher Education Chair Patricia Licuanan wants the Congress to pass a law making it free beyond next year.

In an interview with ANC's Headstart, Licuanan cited that the University of the Philippines is not dismantling its socialized tuition system despite the P8-billion budget infusion for the agency that would make tuition in undergraduate studies in SUCs free next school year. 

"Perhaps they will be cautious about removing it for now because they have to see that this is not just a one-year thing. Right now, it’s a one-year thing," she said.

"Essentially, what the Congress has to do is pass a legislation focusing on this alone and allotting budget that will continue beyond 2017," she added.

"What we can socialize perhaps are the other fees that are not covered here; but right now, tuition is free for every undergraduate," she claimed.

Licuanan assured that CHED will implement their "marching orders" to have tuition in SUCs free "very carefully and with a lot of thought."

"We felt that just a sweeping tuition waiver as it were will benefit those who have more resources as well as the few poor. We had wanted something more targeted to those who can’t afford," she said.

"Be that as it may, it’s a windfall as it were. It’s a good beginning, but obviously we would have to face these issues because we need much more than that," she said.