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Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is pushing for the passage of the proposed Bayanihan to Recover As One Act so private higher education institutions (HEIs) survive without having to hike tuition fees.

In a statement Friday (June 12), Gatchalian said Senate Bill 1564 or the proposed Bayanihan 2 contains a provision for a one-time cash assistance to affected teaching and non-teaching personnel in private basic and tertiary education institutions, as well as part-time faculty in state universities and colleges.

The measure also mandates government financial institutions to have a loan program that will help education institutions implement blended learning. A condition for this loan is the non-implementation of tuition and other fees’ increase.

“Ang pagpapaliban sa pagtaas ng matrikula ay isang paraan upang matulungan natin ang mga pamilyang naapektuhan ang kabuhayan dahil sa pandemya. Kung maipapasa natin sa mga darating na araw ang panukalang Bayanihan to Recover As One Act, mabibigyan natin ng agarang tulong ang mga bumubuo sa sektor ng edukasyon,” Gatchalian said.

A special session of Congress during the sine die adjournment is needed to pass Bayanihan 2.

Gatchalian appealed to private HEIs to defer tuition fee hikes even as he acknowledged that their operations are strained due to the expected drop in admissions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is not the time to overburden our parents with high tuition lalo na ngayong panahong marami silang binabayaran. Hindi ngayon ang tamang panahon para dyan,” he said at a video conference with student leaders.

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