MALAYBALAY CITY (OP-IPS) Bukidnon State University is now on its third year of implementation of the Republic Act 10931 or the Free Higher Education Act with an average of 13,000 students per semester from its main and 16 satellite campuses.
The university has received a total of P728.3 million from the national government in a span of five semesters so far to cover the implementation of the Free Higher Education Program with P438.5 million; the Tertiary Education Subsidy program with P231.2 million; the Student Financial Assistance Programs (STUFAPS) P57.4 million; and the Bayanihan II for Higher Education Tulong Dunong with P1.2 million.
An average of 25 percent of the university’s 13,000 students have also received the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES), which provides P40,000 annual grants to qualified students.
Since the 2018 to 2019 school year, the university has implemented this education flag ship program of the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte as one of the 112 state universities and colleges and 78 local universities and colleges implementing the program.
Devera Tipasal, a second year Public Administration student of the College of Administration, said the program has helped young people like her to have hope and chance to overcome poverty with a tertiary education.
Tipasal, who hails from Bolonay, Impasug-ong town, was among the students who thanked the government in a testimony about their experience as TES grantees during the visit of Commission on Higher Education Chair J. Prospero E. De Vera III on May 28, 2021 here in BukSU.
De Vera said one of the purposes of his visit was to claim victory for Philippine Higher Education with the accomplishments so far of the program.
Atty. Ryan L. Estevez, executive director of the Unified Financial Assistance for Tertiary Education (UNIFAST) said higher education become much more accessible to the students who come from different culture and abilities.
He added that especially during the pandemic, students struggled the most to meet the necessities in online learning with the staggering rate of unemployment this year and the closing of businesses, parents were not sure how to provide for their children.
“Suddenly, it become a question whether education is a priority over other needs. Thankfully, most of our grantees were able to continue their studies. Thanks to Free Higher Education and Tertiary Education Subsidy,” he said.
Wendalyn L. Remoreran, a third year Social Science student from Valencia City, said she was able to help buy medicines and family provisions when his father lost his job and fell ill during the earlier days of the COVID 19 pandemic.
Based on a research conducted by BukSU among 880 beneficiaries of TES, they said their grants helped them overcome difficulties like insufficient financial resources for basic personal and school needs, accessing resources to address health needs and to pay loans incurred for school related needs, and buying learning materials and communication devices like laptop and internet, and school supplies.
Dr. Oscar B. Cabańelez, BukSU President, said the university remains committed in providing quality higher education in the countryside.
“We in BukSU are very much grateful for the support extended to us by our government. Rest assured as an academic institution of the region we will always be in support to the plans and goals of the government in promoting available, accessible free tertiary education in the province through the Commission on Higher Education,” he said in his message included in a documentary of the university’s implementation of the program. (OP-Information and Publication Services)
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