Press Release
May 5, 2006

To soften the impact of rising costs of education

With school opening fast approaching, talks of impending tuition fee hikes are again a cause for concern or even dread for many parents and students. To soften the impact of soaring costs of education, Senator Manny Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party, is pushing for additional benefits and privileges to lighten the financial burden of Filipino students.

Villar filed Senate Bill 527 or the Student Privilege Act that seeks to ease the pressure of very high educational cost on parents and students by granting them additional privileges.

Villar also filed Senate Bill 570 that calls for strengthening further and broadening the coverage of the special program for employment of students, amending for the purpose certain provisions of Republic Act (R.A.) 7323 or the Special Program for Employment of Students.

"Apart from tuition fees that have been increasing by 10% or more every school year, our students and their parents are saddled with other expenses such as transportation fares, school supplies, books, medical and dental fees among others. So much so that many families cannot afford to send all or some of their children to school anymore," says Villar.

Villar cites, "Any discount that we can make available for students will truly go a long way. We should also help those students who have no choice but to work in order to support themselves to school and help their respective families."

Under Villar's Senate Bill 527, upon presentation of a valid identification card or ID, duly issued by a recognized Philippine school, the student shall be entitled to the following:

  • 20% discount on transportation fares in all public utility vehicles, ships or airplanes provided that the fare discount shall be availed of during school seasons;

  • 10% discount on basic school supplies to be availed of at enrollment time;

  • 10% discount on medical and dental services in government as well as private clinics; and

  • 10% discount on admission fees in museums, art galleries, libraries and stage theaters.

Meanwhile, Villar cites on Senate Bill 570, "With the economic turmoil that the country is facing, there is an increasing number of poor young people who, in their desire to study and eventually have a better quality of life, look for ways to finance their studies. Such situation calls for the protection of these students who work in companies."

Villar further cites on his bill that working students deserve to get salaries or wages not lower than the minimum wage for private employees. "Given the difficult circumstances that our working students face on a daily basis, they need the support and understanding of their employers. They should be treated like ordinary employees or workers, but they should also be given some extra consideration," adds Villar, who was also a working student during his college years at the University of the Philippines (UP).

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