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Philippine bishops welcome free education for college students

President Duterte signed a law that provides free tuition for Filipino students at 112 state universities and colleges

Philippine bishops welcome free education for college students

Students and professors at the University of the Philippines call for free and quality education in all schools of the country on Aug. 4. (Photo by Mike Taboy)

August 8, 2017

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Philippine Catholic bishops welcomed the signing of a law that will grant free education for college students in the country's state universities and colleges.

The head if the Episcopal Commission on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant people described the new law as a "blessing" for poor Filipinos, especially migrant workers.

"Free education is a great help to our [migrant workers]," said Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for granting free education to students, saying "education leads many out of poverty."

Bishop Roberto Mallari of Nueva Ecija said many will benefit from the law, "which is actually good" because "investing on human capital through education is a constitutional mandate."

"We hope that it is not just a political decision, that it was carefully studied by [the government's] economic team because this requires sustainable funding."

The prelate, however, said the law may have an implication to the enrollment in Catholic colleges and universities and other private schools.

On Aug. 3, Duterte signed into law the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, a law providing free tuition for Filipino students in 112 state universities and colleges.

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