More Bicolano students can avail of free higher education

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has approved the inclusion of Tiwi Community College in Albay as one of the 27 additional Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) to implement the Free Higher Education (FHE) and Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) programs of Republic Act No. 10931, known as Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act starting Academic Year 2019-2020.

Under Section 3 of RA 10931, LUCs must be compliant with the policies, standards and guidelines of the CHED in order to be included in the coverage of the law. These LUCs were evaluated by the Commission and have obtained institutional recognition or full program compliance of CHED policies and standards.

“The Commission is committed to fully implement RA 10931 to increase access to higher education so that more Filipino students, particularly those coming from the poor families, can go to college with government support,” said CHED and Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) Governing Board Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III.

As the centerpiece social legislation of the Duterte Administration, there are currently a total of 76 LUCs that are eligible for FHE: 53 in Luzon, nine in Visayas, and 14 in Mindanao.

The addition of 27 LUCs will increase the number of public Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) for incoming AY 2019-2021 to 111 that will implement FHE. The National Capital Region has the highest number of CHED-recognized LUCs with 7 additional public HEIs.

The 523rd Joint Management Committee and Commission en Banc (CEB) Meeting of CHED approved the list of institutions recommended by its Office of Institutional Quality Assurance and Governance (OIQAG), subject to the existing laws, policies, guidelines and implementing rules and regulations governing the programs under RA 10931.