98% of Pinoys want free tuition in public universities
NINETY-EIGHT percent of Filipinos are in favor of having free tuition in public universities, a Pulse Asia survey conducted September 10 to 14 said.
The survey, commissioned by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian and shared with the media yesterday, showed that 98 percent of the respondents who are in favor were from the National Capital Region, 96 percent from Balance Luzon, 99 percent from the Visayas, and 100 percent were from Mindanao.
Ninety-nine percent of the respondents were from social class “ABC,” 97 percent from social class “D,” and 100 percent were from social class “E.”
Only one percent of the respondents said they were “not in favor.”
Asked “why you are in favor of the free tuition for students in public universities,” 51 percent of the respondents said the program can produce more college graduates, 19 percent said it is “necessary to develop students’ skills, 18 percent said it is the “right of the youth,” 11 percent said it is the responsibility of the State to provide free college education, while 0.4 percent said the free tuition can save them money.
Gatchalian commissioned the survey amid the looming P4.1 billion deficiency in the budget of State Universities and Colleges for free higher education for the fiscal year 2024.
He said he would work to address the deficiency, noting this will affect the capacity of SUCs to invest in facilities, laboratories, and other resources essential to ensure quality education.
Gatchalian pointed out that under RA 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, youth participation in higher education increased.
He said that from 2018 to 2022 when the free higher education law was already in effect, the progression rate from senior high school to college drastically increased to an average of 81 percent.
For academic years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, before the Free Higher Education Law was implemented, the progression rates from high school to college stood at 54 percent and 62 percent, respectively.