Arroyo’s students assistance fund inspired free SUC tuition law

Former president and now Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Former president and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was elated over the signing into law by President Duterte of the free state university and college (SUC) tuition bill.

“I am extremely delighted that two of my bills have now become laws in a matter of only one week. First was the extension of validity of our passports to 10 years and now the signing by President Rodrigo of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, which includes my bill under House Bill No. 3388 which creates the Student Loan Board for college students enrolled in private schools,” said Arroyo in a statement issued on Friday.

“The law is laudable because it does not only address the needs of students in public colleges and universities, but also the needs of underprivileged students who would fail to make cut in our state colleges and universities,” said Arroyo.

Arroyo recalled that a similar program she implemented during her presidency inspired the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

“When I was president, I launched a student loan initiative called the Student Assistance Fund for Education (S.A.F.E.) which gave out interest-free loans to college students who could not graduate due to financial constraints.

“I wanted to institutionalize the program which is the reason why I filed HB 3388. HB 3388 got consolidated into House Bill 5633 which is now the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.”