Image Caption: University of the Philippines Diliman | Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/ Manila Bulletin
By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
To ensure its proper implementation, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) announced that the amended guidelines on the grant of free tuition in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) for fiscal year 2017 have already been released.
Signed by CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno, the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2017-1A dated May 18, 2017 was issued to all SUCs to guide them in implementing the free tuition program.
Meanwhile, the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman announced the temporary suspension of collection of registration fees for the first semester of Academic Year (AY) 2017-2018 until “clearer guidelines on the implementation” of the “Free Tuition 2017” are issued.
In a statement issued by UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan dated July 12, he said that the suspension of tuition collection is “not unique to UP Diliman” and that “most of the SUCs did this as well because of the CHED tuition subsidy scheme.”
In the latest joint memorandum circular, CHED and DBM amended the guidelines particularly those pertaining to the “entitlement to and availment of Free Tuition 2017.”
It was reiterated that “the number of students who may avail of the tuition subsidy shall be determined by the estimated tuition income of the SUC” and “only academically-able students shall be considered for the Free Tuition 2017.”