By NITZ ARANCON
and LITO RULONA
Senator Paolo Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino, IV said there is no reason why Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act should not be implemented already.
In a press conference held at Provincial Capitol session hall yesterday, Aquino said along with his other colleagues they are pushing to express a united front in support to the full implementation of the free college law, in light of the announcement of a June 2018 implementation by Commission on Higher Education (Ched).
“Medyo delayed na talaga ang implementation considering that they (have) approved the law since 2016 and was already given enough funds of P41 billion for the calendar year 2017-2018 implementation ngunit medyo may delay talaga,” he said.
He said the implementation would benefit students coming from State Colleges and Universities and to include community colleges organize by local government units like in Opol Community College in the municipality of Opol and Tagoloan Community College in municipality of Tagoloan, both in Misamis Oriental.
“Ito ay para sa mahihirap na hindi na maabot sa college. I am pushing for the fulfillment of the Free College Law and relieve our students and their family members of financial burdens,” said Aquino.
Aquino is the principal sponsor and co-author of the Free College Law, during his sponsorship speech of Senate Resolution No. 620 that he filed and was already approved.
Aquino said he was saddened upon hearing from the statement of Ched officer-in-charge Prospero de Vera, III that they plan to fully implement the law starting June 2018 for Academic Year 2018-19, with Ched still in the process of finalizing the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).
“The non-issuance of IRR should not prevent the executive to faithfully (execute) the law. Ano pa ang hinihintay natin,” Aquino said.