After graduating high school, many students are stopping with their studies and are not able to support for their college. In fact, in 17.5% of 36, 238 high school students is considered as out-of-school youth or defined as ages 15-24 that have not finished any college or post secondary course, and are not working.
Maybe that is one of the reasons for former Pasig City Rep. Roman T. Romulo authored and sponsored the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act, also known as UniFAST Law.
UniFast Law is passed and signed by then President Benigno Simeon Aquino III in October 15, 2015. The signing of the law will let poor but deserving high school students to continue with their studies in college due to the faster financial assistance program that the government offers.
The law states that the government will provide a comprehensive and unified financial assistance system to tertiary students in the Philippines.
“The unified system will ensure that student financial aid programs are adequately funded at all times, and effectively carried out to benefit the greatest number of students who truly need the most help,” Romulo said.
The UniFAST board is composed of the heads of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); one representative each from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA); and four representatives from associations of private higher educational institutions.
To help these qualified students, the law‘s goal is to deliver faster government scholarships and other student financial assistance.
In July 1, 2016, CHED Chair Patricia D. Licuanan has signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the UniFAST Law.
“The signing of the IRR ushers in the full implementation of the UniFAST law — and with it – reforms that would make the delivery and implementation of StuFAPs in the tertiary level more effective, efficient, and politically-neutral or free of political labeling,” Licuanan said.
The IRR states that “the State allows its citizens full access to quality education by providing adequate funding and implementing mechanisms to increase enrollment in tertiary education, especially among poor but academically-proficient and highly motivated students.” This policy, the IRR adds, “should enable them to successfully pursue and complete tertiary education programs in quality institutions, thereby promoting equitable and rationalized access to quality tertiary education.”
Meanwhile, Romulo has thanked and extended his gratitude to Aquino for signing the bill into a law. (Alicia Angelica L. Villanueva)