By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Prior to attending the commencement rites at Carlos Hilado Memorial State College (CHMSC) in Talisay City, Senator Paolo ‘Bam’ Aquino held a press conference where he lauded the passing of Senate Bill No. 1304, or the Affordable Higher Education Act of 2017.
“Once passed, it will be a landmark law in the country,” he said.
The act would make tertiary education at all state colleges and universities free.
Aquino said the bill would benefit around 1.6 million students, and cited a study that claimed 98 percent of those who attain a college degree have a higher chance of pulling their family out of poverty.
In terms of financing the measure, he said it would cost the government P16 billion annually, with a 10 percent increase every year.
Aquino hopes the bill passes the House of Representatives before the next academic year starts in June.
The senate bill was prepared jointly by the Committee on Education, Arts and Culture; the Committee on Finance; and Senators Ralph Recto, Joel Villanueva, JV Ejercito, Aquino, Sherwin Gatchalian, Francis Pangilinan, Juan Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara, and Loren Legarda./WDJ