Students left out of Free Tuition IRR consultation
◢ Rat San Juan
Majority of stakeholders of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (R.A. 10931) were not invited to the public consultation on the formulation of the law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) held earlier at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
The consultation was not publicized through the official website of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). Media networks who received invitations for the consultation were also not allowed to enter the venue.
Representatives from the private sector dominated the attendance, according to Gabby Lucero of the UP Diliman College of Social Work and Community Development Student Council. “Ang nakita ko roon na estudyante ay less than 10 … Very ironic lang talaga kasi ang main stakeholders ay estudyante, pero wala sila roon,” she said.
A separate consultation for state universities and colleges was organized by CHED-Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (CHED-UniFAST) on October 16, said Interim Deputy Executive Director Nicki Tenazas. “Hindi [kasi] pwede na everybody’s here, halo-halo, because everybody will try to get the microphone. Walang mangyayari roon. May magtatalo lang d’yan at wala tayong mari-resolve,” he added.
However, only one representative from each SUC was invited to participate in the October 16 consultation, according to UP Vice President for Public Affairs Jose Dalisay, Jr. The consultation also failed to push through due to the nationwide transport strike on that day.
A draft of the IRR was provided to around 100 attendees of the consultation earlier. Under section 18 of RA 10931, the UniFAST board is mandated to promulgate its IRR “in consultation with the CHED, TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) and other relevant stakeholders in higher and technical education.”
The final version of the IRR is set to be released on an unspecified date in November, said Tenazas.
A copy of the IRR draft can be found here: https://goo.gl/4jpFvo.◢
Short URL: http://www.philippinecollegian.org/?p=12278