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President Rodrigo Duterte signs free tuition fee for all SUCs

A new law providing free education for over a million students in public tertiary and vocational schools nationwide has been signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last August 3. Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra made this announcement in an August 4 forum. It continues the administration’s initiative in the 2017 budget, where around P8 billion was allotted for free tuition for SUCs for school year 2017-2018.

The Republic Act 10931 or “Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act,” gives full tuition subsidy for students in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges, and state-run technical-vocational schools. The law also covers other charges, namely “library fees, computer fees, laboratory fees, school ID fees, athletic fees, admission fees, development fees, guidance fees, handbook fees, entrance fees, registration fees, medical and dental fees, cultural and other similar or related fees.” It also provides subsidies or stipend for poor students and establishes a student loan program.

In addition, the Commission on Higher Education announced on June 16 it would be offering cash grants for medical students in public medical schools.

However, students with financial capacity may choose not to avail of the subsidies through a mechanism created by the SUCs and local universities and colleges or LUCs.

Questions over cost and beneficiaries

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno told lawmakers on August 2 that subsidizing tuition in public tertiary schools would be too costly. Guevara said that free tuition will have an estimate of around ₱100 billion. According to him, the government cannot afford that.

Diokno also added that only middle-class and upper-class students would benefit from the scheme because, statistically, only 12 percent of the poor get to the state universities. So, [in a sense] it will actually subsidize the rich.

However, opposition lawmakers said in an August 3 statement the free tuition law would cost only around ₱15 billion.

Hindi po totoo ang sinabi ng economic managers na hindi kayang tustusan ng gobyerno,” said Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate. “Napatunayan natin ngayong taon, may pondo para sa state universities and colleges. Hindi nila pwede sabihin na ngayong taon ‘di kayang pondohan.

[Translation: The economic managers’ claim that the government can’t afford to subsidize tuition fees is not true. We’ve proven this year that there is money for state universities and colleges. They can’t say this year that there’s no more money.]

Complete List of SUCs covered by the Free Tuition Law

National Capital Region

  • Eulogio ‘Amang’ Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology
  • Marikina Polytechnic College
  • Philippine Normal University
  • Philippine State College of Aeronautics
  • Polytechnic University of the Philippines
  • Rizal Technological University
  • Technological University of the Philippines
  • University of the Philippines System

Region I – Ilocos Region

  • Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University
  • Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State College
  • Mariano Marcos State University
  • North Luzon Philippines State College
  • Pangasinan State University
  • University of Northern Philippines

Cordillera Administrative Region

  • Abra State Institute of Science and Technology
  • Apayao State College
  • Benguet State University
  • Ifugao State University
  • Kalinga State University
  • Mountain Province State University

Region II – Cagayan Valley

  • Batanes State College
  • Cagayan State University
  • Isabela State University
  • Nueva Vizcaya State University
  • Quirino State University

Region III – Central Luzon

  • Aurora State College of Technology
  • Bataan Peninsula State University
  • Bulacan Agricultural State College
  • Bulacan State University
  • Central Luzon State University
  • Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University
  • Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology
  • Pampanga State Agricultural University
  • Philippine Merchant Marine Academy
  • Ramon Magsaysay Technological University
  • Tarlac College of Agriculture
  • Tarlac State University

Region IV-A – CALABARZON

  • Batangas State University
  • Cavite State University
  • Laguna State Polytechnic University (Laguna State Polytechnic College)
  • Southern Luzon State University
  • University of Rizal System

Region IV-B – MIMAROPA

  • Marinduque State College
  • Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology
  • Occidental Mindoro State College
  • Palawan State University
  • Romblon State University
  • Western Philippines University

Region V – Bicol Region

  • Bicol University
  • Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology
  • Camarines Norte State College
  • Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges
  • Catanduanes State University
  • Central Bicol State University of Agriculture
  • Dr. Emilio B. Espinosa, Sr. Memorial State College of Agriculture and Technology
  • Partido State University
  • Sorsogon State College

Region VI – Western Visayas

  • Aklan State University
  • Capiz State University
  • Carlos C. Hilado Memorial State College
  • Guimaras State College
  • Iloilo State College of Fisheries
  • Central Philippines State University
  • Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College
  • Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology
  • University of Antique
  • Iloilo Science and Technology University
  • West Visayas State University

Region VII – Central Visayas

  • Bohol Island State University
  • Cebu Normal University
  • Cebu Technological University
  • Negros Oriental State University
  • Siquijor State College

Region VIII – Eastern Visayas

  • Eastern Samar State University
  • Eastern Visayas State University
  • Leyte Normal University
  • Naval State University
  • Northwest Samar State University
  • Palompom Polytechnic State University
  • Samar State University
  • Southern Leyte State University
  • University of Eastern Philippines
  • Visayas State University

Region IX – Zamboanga Peninsula

  • J.H Cerilles State College
  • Jose Rizal Memorial State University
  • Western Mindanao State University
  • Zamboanga City State Polytechnic College
  • Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology

Region X – Northern Mindanao

  • Bukidnon State University
  • Camiguin Polytechnic State College
  • Central Mindanao University
  • University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines – Cagayan De Oro Campus
  • MSU – Iligan Institute of Technology
  • University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines – Claveria Campus
  • Northwestern Mindanao State College of Science and Technology

Region XI – Davao Region

  • Compostela Valley State College
  • Davao Del Norte State College
  • Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology
  • Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology
  • University of Southern Philippines

Region XII – Main SOCCSKSARGEN

  • Cotabato State University
  • Cotabato Foundation College of Science and Technology
  • Sultan Kudarat State University
  • University of Southern Mindanao

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

  • Adiong Memorial Polytechnic State College
  • Basilan State College
  • Mindanao State University
  • MSU-Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography
  • Sulu State College
  • Tawi-Tawi Regional Agricultural College

Region XIII – Caraga Administrative Region

  • Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology
  • Caraga State University (Northern Mindanao State Institute of Science and Technology)
  • Surigao del Sur State University
  • Surigao State College of Technology

 

References: CNN Philippines

 

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Why Parojinog’s mansion was demolished after Duterte assumes office

When Rodrigo Duterte assumed office as president, the Parojinogs demolished their mansion in Ozamiz City and lived instead in a smaller house. The Parojinogs have been political kingpins in Ozamis City. As to why they demolished the house remained a mystery to the residents there. Some said that Parojinogs did it to avoid more suspicions in their involvement in illegal activities.

Last week, City Chief of Police Senior Inspector Jovie Espenido visited the old mansion of the Parojinogs in Bacakay, Ozamiz City.

As if hindi sila mayaman, bumalik na sa kanilang bahay na maliit para siguro… eh alam naman ng lahat na involved sila sa drugs,” Espenido told TV 5.

Translation: “To present themselves as not rich people, they went back to their little, old house… then again, everyone knew they were involved in durgs.”

Espenido suspected that the family was hiding something from the current administration.

The Discovery

According to the information received by the authorities, the old mansion of the Parojinogs became a ‘cemetery’ for their political foes and illegal drug trade competitors. They believe that it is also a meeting place of the alleged members of their syndicate to plan for their next crime. Brgy. Captain Ludvina Macayran has received complaints from the residents in the area about a foul odor sometime in February that made the council filled the place with trucks of soil.

Because of that, Espenido ordered the Ozamiz PNP to dig the demolished mansion for proof.

They found no human bodies. Rather, they only obtained sacks of garbage. Two sacks tied with rope only contained bones and feathers of animals.

The Parojinog Raid

Meanwhile, 16 people were killed during the anti-drug raid in Ozamiz City, including Mayor Aldong Parojinog and Board Member Octavio Parojinog. The police arrested Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog and other members of the Parojinog clan. The vice mayor was discovered to have a relationship with Herbert “Ampang” Colangco, one of the suspected Bilibid drug lords.

After the operations, a man identified as ‘Noel’ claimed that he had worked as hitman and drug courier for 20 years for them. He admitted that he was ordered to pick up shabu from National Bilibib Prison several times and deliver it to Ozamiz City. According to Noel, the Parojinogs divided the illegal drugs he delivered and started to sell it to other pushers in Ozamiz. They were also involved in holdup operations, and murdering their political foes and business competitors. He also mentioned that he chopped bodies of the people who were ordered to be killed before burying them. Information point out the mansion as the said place.

New Ozamiz City

As a result of the absence of leadership, Irene Engracia Luansing became the acting mayor of Ozamiz and Michael Llamas Tagal as acting vice mayor.

The locals in Ozamiz City publicly expressed their views against the Parojinog family. They wore white shirts and attended the rally. They believe that this will give birth to a new Ozamiz City.

A community prayer in front of Ozamiz City Hall on Sunday was led by Pastor Nathaniel Dinoro.

References: TV News 5

 

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