UP Diliman students jump for joy after the free tuition
bill was signed into law. Photo: INQ—Niño Jesus Orbeta
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a bill that grants free
tuition to students in state-run colleges and universities. Called the
Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017, the new law,
Republic Act (RA) No. 10931, left it to lawmakers and government
executives to figure out a way to fund it, for the 2018-2019 school
While the new law has received widespread acclaim from students and the
public in general, there were those who cautioned against it such as:
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary
Ernesto Pernia, and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
Signing this bill into law might just be Duterte playing to his base.
After all, who is against college education for everyone? He may have
seen it as a way to enshrine his legacy as the president who cared most
about the youth. And in addition, should Duterte later decide to remain
in power beyond his six-year term, he can point to this law as evidence
that he has only the country’s best interest at heart.
Duterte, who appears to be a shoot-from-the-hip type of person should
have listened to his economic advisers and worked with congress to
improve the bill to make it more cost effective and help only those who
really need the help. As the bill he signed in to law last Thursday
stands, all students enrolled in state-run colleges and universities
will receive a free education. However, many students enrolled in the
University of the Philippines (UP) for example, are not poor or needy. Many
graduated from elite private high schools that charge exorbitant tuition
fees. Those students will also now benefit from “Juan dela Cruz” paying
for their entire tuition—even while other important government programs
suffer from lack of funds.
if this new and expensive law is improperly managed, it can even do more
harm than good. Duterte should have taken his cue from Henry Sy’s SM
scholarship program which provides college scholarships only to students
who graduate from a public high school, because those are the students
who truly need the public’s help in completing their tertiary or college
we’ll see where this all takes us. As many of our regular readers know
by now, we are no fans of President Duterte. We see him as a
manipulative, vengeful, and uncouth individual—a mini “Donald-Trump” of
the Philippines if you will. But we wish him success here, and hope that
he can first fix and then implement this law properly and fairly. We
must all remember that a country’s greatest asset is its youth. So good
luck Mr. President…we’ll be closely watching you on this one.
Rodrigo Duterte won the most votes among US overseas Filipino voters in
the May 2016 elections partly due to his strong showing in The Filipino
Channel (TFC) special town hall forum on the Philippine elections held
on May 1, 2016 and presented to a TV audience of 250,000 cable
subscribers. At this town hall forum, representatives from all the
presidential candidates passionately presented their candidates' views
on a variety of topics and were cheered on by their supporters dressed
festively in the political colors of their candidates ..."
Ombudswoman Conchita Carpio-Morales just filed criminal charges against
former president Benigno Aquino III for the blotched military operation
commonly known as the Mamasapano Massacre. Former Philippine National
Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima and former Director Getulio
Napeñas of the Special Action Force (SAF) were likewise charged along
with Aquino. The three headed the 2015 police operation codenamed Oplan
Exodus where 44 SAF police officers were killed by the combined rebel
According to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), a
Washington-based think tank, and a part of the Center for Strategic and
International Studies (CSIS), China has upgraded its facilities in
Panganiban Reef (Mischief Reef), Fiery Cross Reef, and Subi Reef.
According to the June 19, 2017 AMTI report, China is continually
“expanding its already substantial communications and radar capabilities
on the artificial islands. A very large antennae array is being
installed on a small outpost at the southern side of Mischief Reef ..."
a recent article in Asia Times, William Pesek a Tokyo-based journalist
and former columnist for Barron’s and Bloomberg noted that President
Rodrigo Duterte might be “shooting the 100 million-person (Philippine)
nation in the proverbial foot?” with his bloody war on drugs, instead of
continuing to improve the economy he inherited from former President
Benigno Aquino—“an economy on the ascendancy – from weak link to
investment-grade growth star in just six years” ...
nothing Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has said or will say
carries any shock value anymore, his surprising announcement on May 19
caused seismic tremors. At a Manila press conference on that day, Pres.
Duterte disclosed that while attending the “One Belt, One Road” summit
in Beijing on May 15, Chinese Premier China Xi Jinping warned him that
there would be war if the Philippines tried to enforce a United Nations
arbitration ruling and drill for oil in the West Philippine Sea ...
Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat has expressed serious concern that
President Rodrigo Duterte is dangerously close to becoming a dictator
and it may just happen without Congress doing its constitutional role to
be a check against abuses by any other equal branch of government ...
on a state visit to Russia, President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial
law in Mindanao in response to a string of attacks by a band of
terrorists known as the Maute group. During a press conference on his
arrival back in Manila, Duterte mentioned the killing and decapitation
of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief of Malabang, as well as
arson and fighting in the streets of Marawi ...
Dominguez stated recently that the mining industry requires good
governance and transparency to ensure that it contributes to
development. We agree. That is why closing and suspending those mines
that violated the Mining Act (RA 7942) and other environmental laws were
necessary. Our alliance sincerely believes that the results of the
Mining Audit were credible ...
administration of President Rodrigo Duterte received a stunning rebuke
from the United Nations’ Human Rights Council in its just released draft
report on the Philippines. Duterte’s war on drugs and the alleged
extra-judicial killing of thousands of Filipinos appears to be widely
condemned by the international community ...
am a proud San Franciscan with the honor of being the first Filipino
elected to public office in my city serving four terms in the San
Francisco Community College Board from 1992 through 2008. City College
of San Francisco has a Filipino student population of 3,800 in our main
Ocean campus of 38,000 students. In my last term, we had a total
population of 110,000 students in our 10 San Francisco campuses, the
largest community college in California ...
Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat is set to file a resolution urging
the Lower House to immediately conduct an investigation into the alleged
secret police cell in a Manila station where drug suspects are allegedly
held until they cough up money ...
people celebrated earth Day all across the planet, Filipinos need to
take pause and start championing our planet’s welfare in earnest. The
Philippines once had an abundance of natural resources: lush forests,
crystal-clear rivers and streams, and all manner of flora and fauna ...
Did she really break the law? Or are the trials and tribulations she is
undergoing, a prelude of how President Rodrigo Duterte intends to deal
with those who oppose him: first, malign them in the public’s eye, then
throw them in jail on trumped-up charges ...
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took office, he seems to have made
it his personal mission to steer the country away from the United States
and towards China. And while generations of Filipinos have seen their
country as one of America’s staunchest allies in the region, many have
followed the president and now look to China as the Philippines’ new
“best friend” ...
On April 5, 2017, the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP)
and the National Democratic Front (NDF) signed an interim agreement that
could eventually lead to a cessation of hostilities between the
Communist rebel group and the Philippine Army ...
Rody calls PNoy stupid after reckless remark
President Rodrigo Duterte took potshots at his predecessor’s ‘careless’ remarks and branded him as “stupid” for claiming that there has been no progress in the current administration’s war on illegal drugs.
What was wrong with Anderson’s ‘imbecile’ remark? NOTHING
On June 14, 2017, InterAksyon reported how Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez lambasted three Court of Appeals magistrates over their order requiring an explanation for the detention of six Ilocos Norte local executives at the House of Representative.