/ 8 July 2023

SENATOR Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada urged his colleagues to support a measure that will grant free tuition to government employees pursuing a master’s degree in state universities and colleges.

Estrada filed Senate Bill 2277 or the proposed Government Employees Free MA Tuition in SUCs Act which aims to provide career and non-career government employees the opportunity to pursue a free two-year Master’s Program in SUCs.

Under the bill, to be eligible for the program, non-career contractual government personnel must have at least five years of employment and pass the entrance examination and other admission and retention requirements of the SUCs.

Individuals who already received government-sponsored graduate education scholarships in any higher education institution, whether public or private, in the country or abroad, are ineligible. Moreover, those who fail to complete their master’s degree within a year after the prescribed period in their graduate education program will be disqualified.

“Government workers play a crucial role in the country’s human resources, and it is essential to offer them educational advancement opportunities to improve their skills. By enhancing the professionalization of civil servants, the efficient delivery of public services can be further improved, benefiting the people,” Estrada said.

He noted that holding a master’s degree is a requirement for higher positions in the government.

Some agencies, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Presidential Communications Office, already provide scholarship grants to qualified employees pursuing a master’s degree.

Estrada said many employees in other government branches wish to pursue higher education “to enhance their personal growth, advance their careers, and serve the public more effectively.”

The cost of a master’s degree varies from P800 to P1,500 per unit, or P19,200 to P50,000 for a 24-unit program.