remains a deceptive, palliative reform
College Editors Guild
of the Philippines
January 5, 2018
MANILA Ė The
initial victory of the youth with the passage into law of Republic
Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education
August of last year is continued to be spoiled by the still
deceptive Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for it will only
aggravate the already inadequate and substandard quality of
education of the youth.
Just recently, Patricia
Licuanan, chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (ChEd),
said that starting school year 2018Ė2019, tuition and other school
fees of students in state universities and colleges (SUCs), as well
as technical-vocational institutes (TVIs) would already be
shouldered by the government.
Licuanan later reverted
that the IRR still does not guarantee that anyone could now be
automatically admitted by any SUC. Also, it is the administration of
SUCs who has the mandate on to whom the subsidy will be given with
the repressive retention policy.
The Universal Access to
Quality Tertiary Education Act states that students with bachelorís
degree or comparable undergraduate degree from any higher education
institution, and those who fail the SUCís admission and retention
policy cannot avail themselves of the free tuition.
It is clear that the state
is not serious in resolving the most basic problem confronting the
youth. The law is only confusing the youth and giving false hopes in
a mere palliative reform that does not constitute a fundamental
change in the dominating policies on the current education system.
In fact, these palliative
reforms in the tertiary level are machineries for cheap and docile
labor, especially under the K-12 program. With a laser point focus
in the technical-vocational track, the state is equipping the
country to senf millions of Filipinos to other countries.
continue to be an encumbrance to the youth. Students suffer
burdensome fees, annual fee increases, high costs of books and even
high costs of the entire framework of student life. In addition, the
futile financial assistance of the government only renders sure
profits for private school owners.
True enough, the state
rampantly deprives the rights of the youth for quality and
accessible education. Duterte has not done anything against the
incessant tuition hikes. It is crystal clear that the bridges
between the imperialist United States and the Philippines is wide
open. Along with Licuanan, Duterte tightly embraces the neoliberal
policies imposed by the US.
The youth will remain keen
for as long as the education system continues to be tormented by
neoliberal policies. The College Editors Guild of the Philippines,
as an alliance of tertiary level publications, joins the Filipino
youth not only in their fight for a nationalist, scientific and
mass-oriented education but also in the fight to resist and
overthrow the fascist US-Duterte regime.