Press Release
November 27, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara clarified today that he is not against the Anti No Permit, No Exam bill in principle, but proposes alternate policy measures to fine tune its implementation.

During yesterday's budget hearing, Senator Vicente Sotto III inquired about the stand of the Department of Education on the proposed Anti No Permit, No Exam bill.

Angara explained that the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, which he chairs, agrees that there ought to be regulations concerning tuition payment.

However, he said it would be more practicable if such regulation would come in the form of an executive or administrative order, rather than a legislative measure.

"Amending a law is a very tedious process. Should we pass this measure and need to improve it eventually, we might not be able to respond as urgently as our schools and students require," explained Angara.

He added that the needs of educational institutions, which are highly dependent on tuition payment for survival, must also be considered.

"Anyhow, we have not closed our doors to this measure. We still have enough time to deliberate on this, and we are open to the recommendations and proposals of all stakeholders," Angara emphasized.

Nonetheless aware that such situation happens, more often at the tertiary level, Angara has filed measures to address the problem.

Senate Bill No. 3285, or the Fund for Assistance to Students and Parents in Higher Education, seeks to establish a loan program for needy higher education students.

"The loan program proposed by this bill is divided into two categories: student loans made to students and paid directly to their school or college, and student loans made to parents and paid directly to the school," Angara explained.

He added, "The loans shall be used to cover tuition and miscellaneous expenses, books and supplies, room and board, and transportation."

He described this measure as an improved version of the "Study Now, Pay Later" program implemented years before.

Payments of loans granted to students will begin upon employment under viable payment options to be established under the program, while higher-limit loans granted to parents would be paid within a shorter term.

Angara is also the author of the law creating the Government Assistance for Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE). As our country's biggest scholarship fund, GASTPE has supported 700,000 students and 23,000 teachers as of June 2012.

Furthermore, Angara reported that the DepEd has developed an alternative learning program that assists out-of-school youth. About P307 million has been allocated for this program under the 2013 national budget.

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