Press Release
March 20, 2023


The Senate on Monday (March 20) approved on third and final reading Senator Chiz Escudero's twin education measures that will benefit hundreds of Filipino students, especially those who are facing financial challenges.

All 22 members in attendance at the plenary session this afternoon unanimously voted in support of Senate Bill Nos. 1359 also known as the "'No Permit, No Exam' Prohibition Act" and 1864 or the "Student Loan Payment Moratorium During Disasters and Emergencies Act."

Escudero, chairman of the Committee on Higher, Technical and Vocational Education, thanked his colleagues for approving the twin bills.

"Ako ay nagpapasalamat sa ating mga kasamahang senador sa kanilang boto upang ang dalawang panukalang batas na ito ay makapasa sa plenaryo. Malaking tulong ito para sa ating mga mag-aaral lalo na para sa pamilya ng ating mga estudyante na mga nagdarahop subalit nagsisikap na makatapos ng kanilang pag-aaral," Escudero said.

"With the approval, the bills are now a step closer to their enactment into laws for the President's signature," he added as the proposed legislation are now headed to the Bicameral Conference Committee.

The veteran legislator cited his co-authors in SB 1359 that included Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" F. Zubiri, Senate President Pro-Tempore Loren Legarda, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, and Senators Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., Ronald "Bato" M. Dela Rosa, Cynthia Villar, Win Gatchalian, Manuel "Lito" Lapid, Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, and Christopher Lawrence T. Go.

SBN 1864, on the other hand, was authored by Escudero, Zubiri, Legarda, Villanueva, Lapid, Revilla, and Go.

The main purpose of SB 1359 is to prohibit the "no permit, no exam" practice and to disallow any policy that bars students from taking educational assessments due to unpaid financial or property obligations, such as tuition and other school fees in both public and private schools.

The approved measure also forbids schools to compel students and their parents or legal guardians to pay a portion of the outstanding financial obligation. Instead, schools are encouraged to enforce other interventions such as withholding the release of diplomas or certificates, denying admission or enrolment in the succeeding school year or semester, refusing the issuance of applicable clearances, and pursuing the settlement of outstanding financial or property obligations through appropriate legal action.

Meanwhile, SB 1864 provides a respite for college students from paying their financial obligations to their schools if they fall during a declaration of either a national or local state of calamity in the area where they are located.

The moratorium shall be effective for the duration of the state of calamity or emergency and 30 days after the lifting of such state of calamity or emergency. During that time, no penalty or interest shall be collected on the deferred payments.

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