Youth groups, students from Lumad Schools, and various student organizations troop to the University of the Philippines Diliman Palma Hall steps today afternoon after President Duterte signed the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

Youth group Anakbayan congratulated the students, parents and administrators for what it called “a victory of the Filipino youth and people’s collective struggle for free education.”

The group said the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act should provide free tuition and other schools fees for SUCs, LUC, and voch-tech. The group added that this should effect a “no collection policy” in all tertiary state schools. CHED and state schools should waste no time and immediately implement this law.

“Protests have pushed Duterte to support the people’s demand for free education despite the opposition of neoliberal diehards in the cabinet led by DBM Sec Diokno. This is proof of the bankruptcy of the neoliberal framework of commercialization and privatization. This is proof that free education for all is possible and just,” said Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.

The youth leader also added that the fight continues. “We should call for the immediate implementation of the ‘no collection policy’ in all state schools, especially UP which is set to still collect tuition and other school fees this year. We likewise call for an expansion of state schools to cover all students, and a stop to unabated tuition and other school fee increases in private schools,” said Crisostomo.

The group said more protests are in store to ensure that the law is fully implemented and to continue the fight for a national, scientific and mass education for all.


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