Sen. Bam Aquino reminded students from state universities and colleges (SUCs) that the collection of tuition and miscellaneous fees is illegal.

“Isang taon na mula nang maisabatas ang Free College Law. Sa ilalim nito, karapatan niyong hindi magbayad ng tuition at miscellaneous fees sa SUCs,” said Sen. Bam, principal sponsor of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

During dialogue with different sectors, Sen. Bam has received reports that some SUCs are still collecting miscellaneous and other mandatory fees from students.

“Kahit mayroon nang batas, may naririnig pa rin tayong ilang SUCs na hindi sumusunod dito at patuloy ang paniningil ng mga bayarin na hindi na dapat pang kinokolekta mula sa mga estudyante,” Sen. Bam insisted.

During the Commission on Higher Education’s budget hearing, Sen. Bam warned SUCs against collecting fees from students.

“If there are mandatory fees still being collected by the schools, that is illegal now,” said Sen. Bam.

In addition, Sen. Bam called on the government to fully implement the Free College Law, saying it should not deprive poor students a chance at a better life through education.

“Prayoridad dapat ang edukasyon. Ito ang susi sa kaunlaran ng pamilyang Pilipino,” said Sen. Bam, adding that the Free College Law will provide poor families respite from the high prices of goods and services.

“Lalo na ngayong matindi and pagtaas ng presyo, bigyan ng ginhawa ang mga Pilipino,” added Sen. Bam, who worked for the measure’s passage during his time as chairman of Committee on Education in the 17th Congress.

Republic Act 10931 provides free tuition and miscellaneous fees to students in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs) and TESDA-run vocational schools.

Also, the law allows students of both public and private college and universities can also apply for scholarship grants and student loans.

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