EDITORIAL: When there’s will

The question on whether or not there’s funding available for the breakthrough Republic Act 10931 also known as Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act is settled.

The answer to the question was supplied by House Appropriations Chair and Davao City Congressman Karlo Nograles happily announced the good news. The funds hunting which also involved the Department of Budget and Management, the Commission of Higher Education and the Technical Education Schools Development Authority unravelled at least P16 Billion funds which would be readily available in time for the first semester enrollment next year.

The P16 Billion fund is sourced from various scholarships in various departments that can be pooled together and consolidated for the full implementation of the law.

These scholarships are found in the funding allocations of different State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), CHED, the Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Pooled together, that should be enough to get the breakthrough legislation going and send more youths to tertiary institutions. Those benefitting from RA 10931 are students from 114 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), 16 Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) accredited by CHED and 122 Technical-Vocational Institutions (TVIs) under TESDA.

With the funding finally identified, there should be no stopping what is to be one of the most laudable pro-poor legislations. The next step is for the Implementing Rules and Regulations to be passed within the reglamentary 15-day period.
Indeed, where there is political will, there is nothing impossible.

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