REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10931
The Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act is a law in the Philippines that institutionalises free tuition and exemption from other fees in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs) in the Philippines. The law also foresees subsidies also for private higher education institutions. It is intended to give underprivileged Filipino students a chance to earn a college degree. It is also known as the Republic Act 10931 and has the full title An Act Promoting Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education by Providing for Free Tuition and Other School Fees in State Universities and Colleges, Local Universities and Colleges and State-Run Technical Vocational Institutions, Establishing the Tertiary Education Subsidy and Student Loan Program, Strengthening the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education and Appropriating Funds Therefor.
The law was filed first by senator Ralph Recto, principally sponsored by Senator Bam Aquino, and was signed by Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines, on August 3, 2017. The bill is supported by almost all members of Congress. In September 2017, the chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations announced that P40 billion had been gathered and that this amount would finance all expenses foreseen by the law for 2018.
On March 26, 2018, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) released the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) pertaining to the Act.
Before the signing of the bill by the President, the government took the view after intense political discussions that "the long-term benefits that will be derived from a well-developed tertiary education on the part of the citizenry will definitely outweigh any short-term budgetary challenges". The government also stated that the "bottom 20 percent" was to have priority concerning the allocation of subsidies for educational-related expenses.