Press Release
March 17, 2023


Senator Chiz Escudero's proposals calling for the prohibition of the "no permit, no exam" policy in educational institutions and the moratorium on student loan payment during disasters have been approved on second reading, a step that is expected to bring relief to thousands of students particularly those facing financial difficulties.

Senators gave their nod to Senate Bill No. 1359 or the No Permit, No Exam Prohibition Act, and Senate Bill No. 1864 or the Student Loan Payment Moratorium During Disasters and Emergencies Act during floor deliberations held last week.

Both measures are now up for third and final reading, according to Escudero, chair Senate Committee on Higher, Technical and Vocational Education, after defending them during interpellations last March 14.

SB 1359 puts a stop to the "no permit, no exam" policy imposed by some educational institutions--a practice which Escudero has previously described as the "cruelest of fines."

Aside from banning the "no permit, no exam" rule, SB 1359 also prohibits the imposition of any policy that prevents students enrolled in public or private schools from taking examinations or any form of educational assessment for reasons of outstanding financial or property obligations such as unpaid tuition and other school fees.

Specifically, Section 6 of the proposed bill prohibits the following acts committed by any educational institutions:

  • Disallowing any student with outstanding financial or property obligations from taking examinations or any form of educational assessment with the rest of the student body;

  • Requiring any student to secure a permit to take an examination or any form of education assessment from the school authorities prior to the administration of such examination or assessment;

  • Compelling any student or his or her parents or legal guardians to pay a portion of the outstanding financial or property obligations prior to the administration of any examination or assessment; or

  • Imposing fines, penalties, or interests on outstanding financial or property obligations.

SB 1864, on the other hand, allows a reprieve on the payment of what tertiary students financially owe their schools when these are within the jurisdiction of a national or a local declaration of a state of calamity.

The veteran legislator, however, stressed the measure is not "loan forgiveness" but a "payment freeze" as clearly stated in bill's Section 5.

SB 1864 covers loans incurred by qualified students enrolled in higher or technical-vocational education program, subject to the following conditions, among others:

  • The residence of the student concerned is located in an area under a declared State of Calamity or State of Emergency;

  • The moratorium shall be effective for the duration of the state of calamity or emergency and for 30 days after the lifting of such state of calamity or emergency;

  • The availment of the payment moratorium shall not adversely affect the status of the students concerned with regard to their eligibility for re-enrollment or graduation;

  • No penalty or interest shall be collected on the deferred payments; and

  •  The imposition of student loan payment moratorium shall not prevent public or private higher education institutions (HEIs) or technical-vocational institutions (TVIs) concerned from implementing more favorable forms of payment relief or assistance to their respective students.

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