/ 18 May 2024

SENATE Committee on Basic Education chairperson Sherwin Gatchalian expressed gratitude to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for his commitment to continuing the provision of free higher education in public universities and colleges.

Gatchalian said the President’s commitment affirms “the principle we held when we pushed for the passage of the free higher education law under Republic Act No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act: that education is an investment and not a burden to the Filipino people.”

“The free higher education law gave more young Filipinos the opportunity to attend college,” Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian cited that from Academic Year 2013-2014 to AY 2017-2018, before the free higher education law, “the average enrollment in our state and local universities and colleges was more than 1.6 million.”

“By AY 2018-2019 to AY 2022-2023, when we were already implementing the free higher education law, the average enrollment in SUCs and LUCs rose by 13% to more than 1.8 million,” he said.

“We need to continue investing in our state universities and colleges so they can have the resources, including world-class facilities and competent personnel, to deliver quality tertiary education,” the senator stressed.

“I will continue working with our partners in government and the academe to ensure that the free higher education law continues to change the lives of Filipino youth and their families,” he added.