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Legarda Vows Continued Support for Higher Education in Antique

August 18, 2020

Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda has committed her full support for the uplifting of higher education in the province of Antique.

With her commitment to bring down the number of out-of-school youth further as well as to improve the quality of education in the province, Legarda continued to provide Antique with programs such as Tulong Dunong in partnership with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). Antiqueño college students have been beneficiaries of the program since 2016 with over 19,000 scholars as of date under the allocations supported by Legarda. For the academic year 2019 to 2020, a total of 3,589 grantees were able to avail of the Tulong Dunong Program in Antique.

Legarda, co-author and co-sponsor of RA 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017, also encouraged the Antiqueños to avail of the opportunity to obtain a degree with the educational assistance extended by the national government, especially those coming from low-income families who would also want to bring their children to college.

“One of the long-standing concerns of poor families is sending their children to college because most of the time, after finishing secondary education in public schools, they have no means to pay for college tuition fees. Thus, they opt to forego higher education and instead look for a job that would support their needs and their family’s,” Legarda said.

“Aside from the Tulong Dunong Program with CHED, we also have an existing law which aims to institutionalize on a national scale the provision of a full tuition fee subsidy for students enrolled in all of the country’s state universities and colleges (SUCs), local state universities and colleges (LUCs), and state-run technical vocational institutions (TVIs). There is no greater investment than education, to alleviate poverty and build a sustainable and progressive nation. We have to invest enough support for the education of our youth until college so that they can enjoy more opportunities to be employed as professionals in the future,” Legarda added.

Legarda also supported the allocation of funds under the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in 2018 to install Wi-Fi in all SUCs in order to aid students with their school research and requirements.

“As we long anticipated the need to improve our digital infrastructure, reliable Internet access has been one of the in-demand necessities to provide our students the assistance needed in their studies as the country now adapts to the challenges of the new normal. When I was the Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, we have supported the allocation for the Free Wi-Fi For All – Free Public Internet Access Program to SUCs in the country and according to the recent report given to us by the DICT Region VI, University of Antique (UA) campuses in Sibalom and Hamtic are already benefiting from the said program, while UA Libertad campus and Tario Lim campus are both for rebidding,” Legarda said.

Moreover, Legarda initiated the establishment of an extension program on fisheries by the University of the Philippines-Visayas in Antique to nurture leaders and entrepeneurs among the youth and to provide a fair chance to every Antiqueño to access top caliber education that will pave the way for better opportunities for growth and development. The UP Visayas extension campus will soon be established in the municipality of Pandan.

“Having someone in the family graduate with a college degree will have lasting impact especially to the country’s poorest families. Education is a powerful tool to alleviate poverty and I encourage every Antiqueño youth to explore, value and maximize the opportunities provided for you,” Legarda concluded.#