Issue of May 13, 2018

70th Courier Anniversary Issue
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BSU prepares to implement free tuition law this 2018-19
by Press release

Benguet State University is preparing for the implementation of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017, which is effective this school year 2018-2019.

In a recent meeting, college deans, secretaries, and directors of offices of the university were given a background on the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the act to comply with the attached responsibilities of state and local universities and colleges (SUCs and LUCs).

The Commission on Higher Education formally  launched the law’s IRR last March. It provides, among others, detailing how students can avail of loans and other subsidies to help fund their tertiary education.

Provided in the IRR is free tuition for all degree programs, courses, subjects, or classes enrolled during a particular semester or term. Also covered are miscellaneous fees, which may include library fees, computer fees, laboratory fees, school ID fees, athletic fees, admission fees, development fees, guidance fees, handbook fees, medical and dental fees, entrance fees, and cultural fees.

Students who will avail of the free tuition are obligated to undergo the SUC/LUC’s Return Service System.

The system is unique to each SUC/LUC. According to Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Kenneth A. Laruan, a proposal of the mechanism was given to the CHED.

Laruan said the drafted proposal will be a part of a memorandum of agreement with the students agreeing to avail the free higher education provision and its tagged responsibilities.

“The Return Service System is a way of giving back the service to the government for being a beneficiary of free education,” he said.

Other provisions of the law, such as the opt-out and the voluntary contribution mechanism will also be developed by the university. According to the IRR, the opt-out mechanism is a provision wherein a student has also a right not to avail of the free higher education.

The voluntary contribution, on the other hand, is when a student decides to contribute a financial amount to the university.

Students applying for these mechanisms will either be exempted from or will lessen the responsibilities ascribed in the return service system.

A regional orientation on the IRR is set on May 25.

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Philex Mining Corporation
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