‘Free Tuition Watch’ campaign launched on Facebook
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has been allocated P8.3 billion to support the free tuition policy in all 114 state colleges and universities (SUCs), and there will expectedly be some kinks to iron out as students avail themselves of this benefit for the first time.
Various student organizations, led by Agham Youth, want to monitor the implementation by crowdsourcing reports where college students often are – on social media.
On Thursday, June 15, they launched the Free Tuition Watch (FTW) page on Facebook. They encourage students to send personal messages or post testimonies on the page.
“Kailangan natin itong datos na ito para makakuha tayo ng bird’s eye view kung ano'ng nangyayari ba sa Free Tuition Policy na 'tinutulak ng gobyerno,” said Miguel Aljibe, chairperson of the University of the Philippines Manila University Student Council.
(We need these data to get a bird’s eye view of what is really going on with the Free Tuition Policy the government is pushing.)
To file a report, the student should provide the following information:
- School Address
The Polytechnic University of the Philippines is one of the first SUCs to experience the implementation of the Free Tuition Policy this school year, and Agham Youth's representative in PUP, Duke Ian Buenaventura, is optimistic other schools will be able to do it hassle-free.
“Kung kaya ng PUP na ipatupad ang no tuition collection ngayong first semester ay tiyak na kaya rin ito ng iba’t iba pang SUCs dahil higit nga sa sapat ang P8.3 billion budget,” he said.
(If PUP can implement the no tuition collection this first semester, surely other SUCs can do it too, because the P8.3 billion budget is more than enough,” he said.
Aside from CHED's free tuition program – which includes medical students in 8 SUCs – lawmakers are confident President Rodrigo Duterte will sign into law the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act by June or July. – Rappler.com
Marian Plaza is a Rappler intern. She is a journalism student at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.