/ 4 October 2022

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian vowed to help secure more funds for next year’s higher education programs to ensure that qualified students will not be deprived of free college education and financial assistance.

He gave the assurance after Commission on Higher Education Chairperson Prospero De Vera III reported that around 379,000 qualified Tertiary Education Subsidy applicants were not covered for lack of funding. Of these, 226,000 are enrolled in private schools.

The TES provides additional funding for education-related costs, including books, transportation, board and lodging and allowances for disability-related expenses, among others.

The CHED chairman said that over P10 billion is needed to cover these 226,000 students. There is also no budget for new TES grantees for Academic Year 2022-2023.

“I’m with you in making sure that our students are studying and that the spirit of the free higher education law is being faithfully implemented. Unfortunately, we are depriving 226,000 students of education because the government did not allocate more funding,” Gatchalian said.

He assured CHED that he will help secure funds that will allow six new CHED-recognized Local Universities and Colleges to avail of free tuition.

The CHED noted that while these six LUCs are already institutionally accredited, they are currently not assured of reimbursements for tuition and miscellaneous fees.

A budget of P200 million is needed so that an estimated 17,000 students enrolled in these six LGUs can avail of free higher education.