MANILA, Philippines – All 112 state colleges and universities (SUCs) across the country are covered by the free tuition law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night, August 3.
Duterte's approval of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act was unexpected given how his economic managers have openly opposed the bill, saying the government does not have enough funds to sustain it.
Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Friday it is now up to Congress to decide how best to fund the bill.
"Free tertiary education in state universities and colleges is a pillar or cornerstone of the President's social development policy so he weighed everything and came to the conclusion that the long-term benefits that will be derived from a well-developed tertiary education will definitely outweigh any possible short-term budgetary challenges. So as we say, 'If there's a will, there's a way," Gueverra said.
The law covers 8 SUCs in Metro Manila, 49 in the rest of Luzon, 26 in the Visayas, and 29 in Mindanao.
The lists in the 2018 National Expenditure Program and the joint guidelines of the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Budget and Management on the grant of free tuition appear to have 114 SUCs, however, because they specify two campuses of the Mindanao State University. These are the MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology and the MSU-Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography.
Below is the list of the state colleges and universities per region:
NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION (NCR)
Region I - ILOCOS
CORDILLERA ADMINISTRATIVE REGION (CAR)
Region II - CAGAYAN VALLEY
Region III - CENTRAL LUZON
Region IV-A - CALABARZON
Region IV-B - MIMAROPA
Region V - BICOL
Region VI - WESTERN VISAYAS
Region VII - CENTRAL VISAYAS
Region VIII - EASTERN VISAYAS
Region IX - ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA
Region X - NORTHERN MINDANAO
Region XI - DAVAO REGION
Region XII - SOCCSKSARGEN
AUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO (ARMM)
Region XIII - CARAGA ADMINISTRATIVE REGION