TO ensure the success of free college tuition, a House leader has urged the Commission on Higher
Education (CHEd) to use properly the P10 million budget of every state university and college (SUCs)
to computerize these institutions.
Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila
Development, said the success of Republic Act (RA) No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality
Tertiary Education Act lies in the modernization of SUCS.
“The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) should urgently and properly use the allocation in
the 2018 budget worth P10 million each for the modernization of State Universities and Colleges
(SUCs). This is to ensure the success of R.A. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary
Education Act,” said Castelo, one of the principal authors of free college tuition.
Castelo said the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) should also
complement the modernization of the SUCs by ensuring the installation of free wi-fi in all of these
public education institutions drawing from the P327 million new budget for the purpose.
He said efforts to modernize free public education will have the biggest impact on the
country’s aspirations to become First World since it is in SUCs where most of the young Filipinos
particularly those in the poor majority relies on for a better future.
“We aspire to become world-class. We cannot be world-class without any equipment. We cannot
be world-class without wi-fi that is not just free but also fast. To be world-class is to be at par
with the best in the world,” he said.
Meanwhile, Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations,
assured that Congress will exercise its oversight powers to ensure that the funds allocated for the
government’s free college tuition program will not be wasted on “bulakbol” students.
“Our state and local colleges and universities should not become Iskul Bukol even as we give
free education to our students.
“Through our oversight function, Congress will assist the CHEd and the participating
educational institutions in making sure that deserving students or those who truly want to study will
benefit from the free college tuition program.
“The funds we have set aside are simply too precious,” Nograles said.