Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Monday said he is supporting the passage of a bill exempting underprivileged but deserving graduating high school students from paying entrance examination fees to private universities and colleges. Estrada said Senate Bill No (SBN) 2441 or Free College Entrance Examinations Act filed by Senator Francis Escudero is very timely considering the increasing number of high school graduates in the country. "Ang pagdami ng bilang ng mga high school graduates ay marapat lamang na suportahan ng ating pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng pagsisiguro ng patuloy na pag-aaral nila sa kolehiyo. Isang paraan upang makamit ito ay ang pagsasabatas ng (The government should support the increase in the number of high school graduates. One of the ways to achieve this is the passage into law of) 'Free College Entrance Examinations Act,'" he said. Estrada, who co-authored and co-sponsored SBN 2441, said the country's access to secondary education has achieved 'a significant milestone' based on the 2020 Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) census. The 2020 PSA census showed that 21 percent of Filipinos have attained at most a high school diploma, which is higher than the 19 percent recorded in 2010 and 13.5 percent in 2000. "Ang hindi pagbayad sa entrance exam fee lamang na nakapaloob sa panukalang ito ay malaking bagay na para sa mga mag-aaral natin, lalo na para sa kanila na nasa pribadong paaralan ang mga napupusuang kurso o para sa mga mag-aaral na ang pinakamalapit na paaralan sa kanilang tahanan ay pribadong institusyon," (The non-payment of entrance exam fee, as indicated in this proposed bill, is a big help to our students, who want to study in private schools and pursue their chosen courses to private schools near their residence),' Estrada said. SBN 2441 offers mutual benefits for both students and schools, as it broadens students' options for colleges and universities to pursue their studies. It also opens the doors of private higher education institutions to high-achieving students who will undoubtedly contribute to their reputation and performance. Under the bill's provisions, eligible students must come from families whose parents live below the poverty line or belong to the poorest of the poor, as determined by the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The students must also belong to the top 10 percent of their graduating class, it added.
Source: Philippines News Agency