P3.74B released for free college


THE DEPARTMENT of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Thursday it has released P3.74 billion to fund free college education for over 200,000 students in the country.

The DBM said it approved on April 15 the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) for a total of P3.744 billion to the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) Tulong Dunong Program, which benefits 247,135 scholars.

“This scholarship program is a huge help for our dear students, especially those who are having financial difficulty or simply cannot afford to go to college,” Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said in a statement.

The program is one of the components of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education – Tertiary Education Subsidy.

The fund would cover grantees enrolled CHED-recognized public and private higher education institutions for the second semester of the academic year (AY) 2023-2024 and the first semester of AY 2024-2025.

Under Republic Act No. 10931, the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree, certificate degree, or any comparable undergraduate degree are exempted from paying tuition or other school fees. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz