By Hannah Torregoza
Reelectionist Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV on Monday welcomed the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) move to go after state universities and colleges (SUCs) that still collect miscellaneous fees despite the passage of the free college law.
“Sa ating pag-iikot, nakakarinig tayo na maraming SUCs ang nangongolekta pa rin ng miscellaneous fees kahit mayroon nang batas na nagbabawal dito, (While we are campaigning, we hear a lot of complaints that many SUCs are still collecting miscellaneous fees even though we already have a law that prohibits such policy),” Aquino said.
Aquino is referring to Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, which he helped push in the Senate, which is more popularly known as the Free College law.
“Natutuwa tayo sa pagkilos ng CHED na habulin ang mga SUC na lumalabag sa batas na dapat sana’y napakikinabangan na nang buo ng ating mga estudyante, (We are happy to hear CHED is going after these SUCs that are violating the law, which we have hoped are now benefiting our students),” added the senator.
Earlier, CHED chairperson Prospero de Vera promised to crack down on SUCs that are going beyond what they are allowed under the Free College Law.
Under the law, SUC students are free from tuition and other miscellaneous fees, such as library, computer, laboratory, school ID, athletic, admission, development, handbook, guidance, entrance, registration, medical, dental and cultural fees.
At the same time, Aquino vowed to pursue an affordable internship program for college students, especially those taking up hotel and restaurant management (HRM) and nursing should he win another term in the Senate.
“Iyong mga on-the-job fee, lalo na sa kursong HRM at nursing, napakataas talaga. Binabayaran kasi ito hindi sa school ngunit sa third party, (those on-the-job fees, especially those taking up HRM and nursing courses, are way too high. Precisely because it is not the school that they are paying but the third party involved),” he pointed out.
“Isasama namin ito sa mga gagawin natin sa Senado,” said Aquino who is running under the Otso Diretso opposition senatorial slate.