March 20, 2013

Villar Vows to Pursue Husband's Anti No Exam No Permit Bill

The former congresswoman, Las Pinas Rep. Cynthia Villar on has vowed to pursue the proposed measure filed by her husband, outgoing Senator Manny Villar, which prohibits colleges and universities from preventing students to take examinations over unpaid tuition and other school fees. 

Villar, who is running for senator under the Nacionalista Party-Team PNoy, said this will among her priorities in case she wins a senate seat in the coming May elections. 

Sen. Villar belongs to the so-called “graduating senators” whose term of office ends in June 2013 filed the bill to keep higher educational institutions from implementing “no permit, no exam” policies, saying it amounts to depriving students the right to take examinations.

The bill, however, allows schools to withhold grades and clearances of students and keep them from enrolling again until they settle their accounts. Villar’s bill, however, allows schools to withhold grades and clearances of students, and keep them from enrolling again until they settle their accounts. But Villar’s bill was not passed in the Senate although it was referred to the Senate committee on education chaired by Senator Edgardo Angara. It’s counterpart bill was approved on third reading in the House of Representatives. 

The proposal seeks to allow students with dues, unpaid tuition and other school fees to take the midterm or final examination. Students should not be required to secure from school authorities a permit before being allowed to take the midterm or final examination.

The proposal also prevents schools from requiring the payment, upon enrollment, of a down payment or first installment of more than 30 percent of the total amount of the tuition and other school fees for the entire semester or duration of the course.

Villar said he ask his wife Cynthia to pursue the passage of the measure if she wins her senatorial bid this May. 

As the senator’s wife, widely-known as “Misis Hanep Buhay,” said it is lamentable this ‘unfortunate’ incident happened to a young “Iskolar ng Bayan” at UP Manila, who could be the ‘key’ to take out of poverty her parents and four younger siblings. 

“Another life was wasted due to poverty,” said Villar who has also been advocating jobs for everybody to lead a comfortable life. 

To avoid another case of Kristel Tejada, who committed suicide after she was forced to file a leave of absence (LOA) due to unpaid tuition fees, former Rep. Villar also underscored the need to revisit and review the policies of our State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) to which UP Manila belongs, and the other educational institutions in the country. 

“What happened to Kristel is very regrettable especially since she was enrolled in a government-subsidized institution mandated to provide high quality education to “poor but deserving” students. Just like other SUCs, UP has a regular annual appropriations from the national government. So it is necessary to look into the need to expand the government’s study and scholarship programs in SUCs. Do we need to give them additional budget so that students like Kristel would no longer be burdened to cough up money for her tuition fees?” said she said. Kristel, considered a “Iskolar ng Bayan,” being a student of UP, a state university, killed herself as she has no money to pay her tuitions fees. It’s indeed sad and a total dismay,” she added.

She said there should also be a review of the SUCs policies for non-payment of tuition fees. 

“Perhaps, it’s about time to review these policies,” she further stated. She said Tejada’s suicide also showed the lack of access to education in the country. 

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