(MAHARLIKA NUMEDIA) SENATOR Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada is lending his support to fellow lawmakers in their efforts to pass a law mandating that private universities and colleges waive entrance examination fees for underprivileged graduating high school students and those ranking in the top 10 percent of their graduating class.
Estrada emphasized the growing number of high school graduates in the country, as highlighted by the 2020 census conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), marking a significant step forward in improving access to secondary education in the nation.
“The increasing number of high school graduates deserves the government’s support by ensuring their continued education at the college level. One way to achieve this is through the enactment of the ‘Free College Entrance Examinations Act,’” Estrada stated, referring to Senate Bill 2441, a bill he co-authored and co-sponsored.
According to the 2020 PSA census, more than 21% of Filipinos have, at most, a high school diploma, surpassing the 19% recorded in 2010 and 13.5% in 2000.
“The exemption from entrance exam fees proposed in this legislation is a significant step for our students, especially those who desire courses in private schools or for those whose nearest educational institutions are private,” Estrada expressed during his co-sponsorship speech.
The proposed legislation promises benefits for both students and educational institutions, as pointed out by the experienced legislator.
By expanding students’ choices for colleges and universities, it also provides private higher education institutions (PHEIs) with the opportunity to admit high-achieving students who can enhance their reputation and performance, Estrada underscored.
According to the bill’s provisions, eligible students must come from families living below the poverty line or classified as the poorest of the poor, as determined by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). They must also belong to the top 10 percent of their graduating class.