Duterte admin economic managers’ claim that government cannot provide free education is baseless and misleading. Free tuition and other school fees (OSF) cost only around P14 B, not P100 B as DBM claimed. Solons know this. Also, how come the government can’t afford to provide free education when its infrastructure program “Build, Build, Build” gets P1.097 T or 1/3 of 2018 budget?
Their claim that free education has little impact on poor, citing that only twelve percent (12%) of them are in SUCs, is misleading and ignorant of the reasons why they are out of school in the first place, and makes free education all the more necessary. It is appalling how government is insistent to defund SUCs to prevent “exodus” of students from private schools, and the loss of profit for capitalist-educator owners.
The removal of free tuition in the proposed 2018 budget is a disservice to the Filipino people, and it reflects the neoliberal and anti-people thrust of #Duterte government. The fight for free education continues as TOSF collection, profiteering schemes (i.e. UP’s Socialized Tuition System), and neoliberal policies remain in full force. The Filipino youth will mount sustained protests and join the nationwide walkout for #FreeEducationNow on August 31!