MANILA - A law granting free college education in 2018 will not cover students with failing grades, Senator Bam Aquino said Sunday.
"Iyung pag-uusap sa deliberation, siguro naman dapat walang bagsak ang mga estudyante kasi mahalaga po na mayroong kapalit," Aquino, one of the authors of the free tuition law, told DZMM.
"Iyung intention po namin sa Senate, kung may bagsak then the next semester, hindi ka puwedeng mag-avail. Pero kung naayos mo naman iyun at pumasa ka na, pwede ka nang mag-avail ulit."
(During the deliberations, we agreed that students should have no failing marks. Our intention in the Senate is that if a student failed a subject, he cannot avail of the free tuition in the following semester. Once he has passed the subject, he will qualify again for the free tuition.)
The free tuition law, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed earlier this month, covers Filipino students taking their first undergraduate degree in 112 state universities and colleges (SUCs) and 16 local universities and colleges (LUCs).
Aquino noted that other countries providing free tuition require beneficiaries to render at least 2 years of public service.
Senators however were concerned that implementing the service program would require a huge budget that could be funneled into the P20-billion cost of providing free college education.
The finer details of the free tuition law would be reflected in its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) that education and budget officials are working on, said Aquino.