Press Release
May 25, 2015

Free college tuition, student loans for deserving students
Senate approves on 3rd reading UniFAST Act

The Senate today approved on third and final reading a measure that would extend financial assistance to poor but deserving college students until they finish their chosen courses in either private or public university.

Senate Bill 2679 otherwise known as the UniFAST Act (Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education) expands the country's government-funded scholarship program by opening up opportunities to college students committed to graduating their courses, such as student loans, subsidized tuition and outright free tuition to poor but exemplary college students.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto credited Senator Pia Cayetano, sponsor of the measure, for shepherding the fast approval of the measure. It will be up for President Aquino's signature once the disagreeing versions of both houses have been consolidated.

An amendment recently introduced by Recto, one of the authors of the consolidated SB 2679, ensures that no college student would be deprived of the opportunity to finish his or her course for lack of funds.

Recto's amendment provides that the "top three (3) graduates of all public high schools shall be given priority in the grant of the student loan."

"Once the student graduates from college, thru the assistance of loan or tuition subsidy extended to him by UniFAST, and finds a job, he can start repaying the loan in installment basis," Recto said.

We don't want to burden our college scholars of simultaneously working for good grades while also looking for cash to pay for their schooling, Recto said.

Once signed into law, the UNIFAST Act this will deliver a fast-acting relief to college students always worrying of where to source their next tuition payment. Hard-up students can continue their college studies with pocket-friendly loans under UNIFAST and the brighter ones who finished in the top three of their would be accorded free or subsidized tuition," Recto said.

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