Manila Standard Today – Marcos eyes free college tuition

By Joel Zurbano | Manila Standard Today 

Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Saturday proposed free college education in all the state colleges and universities in the country, saying the government has the capability to provide funding for the tuition of SUC students.

“My proposal is for the government to study the free education in all state colleges and universities because based on our data, the fund needed for it is not that big,” Marcos told reporters at the La Carmela Hotel and Convention Center in Boracay island on Friday.

Marcos said the data of Commission on Higher Education showed that the 547 SUCs in the country are all subsidized by the government, yet students still have to pay tuition fees.

CHED figures also showed that a total of 1.4 million students were enrolled in SUCs for the school year 2013-2014.

Aside from free college education in SUCs, Marcos is also pushing for an increased support for public school teachers whom he described as a crucial factor in improving the country’s educational system.

Marcos filed the following bills to improve the state of education in the country:

Senate Bill 3106 (Public School Teachers’ Salary Upgrading Act) which seeks to raise the compensation of public school teachers from Salary Grade 11 or approximately P18,000 a month to Salary Grade 15 or approximately P25,000 a month.

Senate Bill 2531 (Teachers Education Act of 2010) mandating continuing education for teachers in all levels of education for both private and public schools.

Senate Bill 2532 (First Class Public Schools and Libraries Act of 2010) which seeks to continuously improve and upgrade public schools and libraries across the nation pursuant to the constitutional and statutory mandates of prioritizing education, and

Senate Bill 2188 (Moratorium on the Creation or Conversion of State Universities and Colleges Act of 2010) an act imposing a three-year moratorium on the creation of new state universities and colleges to allow Congress and the Commission on Higher Education time to assess and upgrade existing state colleges and universities to competitive levels.

Marcos also continues to support numerous efforts for the improvement and expansion of educational programs in various parts of the country, including the massive scholarship program that he implemented as governor of Ilocos Norte.

Marcos explained that education is one of the most important service that the government can provide to the people. He said he will work for possible enactment of measures for this purpose in the remaining session days of the Senate.

However, if the current legislative agenda will not be able to accommodate these proposals, Marcos said he would continue to seek for their realization even if he is elected vice president in the 2016 elections.

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