August 14, 2017

NUSP lobbies in Congress for no tuition collection, free education

Led by the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), student-leaders from different universities and youth groups went to the House of Representatives yesterday to lobby for free education.

Selective targeting of free tuition beneficiaries denounced

Student-leaders held a protest action in front of the House of Representatives to denounce the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) issued by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) of the free tuition policy for A.Y. 2017-2018. “The IRR the free tuition policy clearly translates it to a nationwide socialized tuition system where students will be subjected to a competition of “poorest of the poor” to prove their worthiness,” said NUSP National Spokesperson Mark Vincent Lim.

NUSP also denounced the specific guidelines on the free tuition policy released by several SUCs as they burden students with stringent requirements and limit the number of beneficiaries. In Rizal Technological University (RTU), students expressed their rage as they lamented the strict criteria for qualification and the additional expenses to get the required documents.

“These stringent requirements put the policy into question. The target implementation of free tuition is no different from the blueprint for the flawed Socialized Tuition System (STS) in the University of the Philippines, which has been the scapegoat for the massive tuition increase in UP to the current P1,500 per unit from P40 in 1989,” said Lim.

Lobbying for no tuition collection, free education

Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Jane Elago was accompanied by student-leaders in filing a house resolution to urge CHED and DBM to stop the collection of tuition for the next academic year and to stay true to the intent of providing free education for all.

Student-leaders also went room-to-room to ask members of the Lower House to sign their manifesto of unity for free education and to co-author Kabataan Party-list’s House Bill 4800 or the Comprehensive Free Public Higher Education which seeks to grant free college education in all public higher education institutions.

Lastly, the student-leaders held a dialogue with House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez where he stressed his support for free education. He noted that aside from providing free tuition, all other school fees should be junked.

#FreeEducationNow trends

The Twitterverse was abuzz with the demand of the youth for free public education as #FreeEducationNow trended last night. Millennials also tweet with the hashtag #NoTuitionCollection as they assert the blanket implementation of the free tuition policy. Moreover, NUSP called on the Filipino youth who participated in the Twitter rally to go beyond social media and to make their voices be heard in the upcoming nationwide mobilizations.

“NUSP enjoins the Filipino youth and the general public nationwide to march to the streets on May 10, National Day of Action for Free Education, as we call on SUCs to stop tuition collection for the next academic year. Let us fight against the growing commercialization of education,” concluded Lim.

Mark Vincent D. Lim
NUSP National Spokesperson
(+63) 917 565 4963

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