MANILA — On the third and final reading, the Senate of the Philippines approved two important education measures supporting students against the “no permit, no exam” policy; and the suspension of payment of student loans during disasters and national emergencies.
At the plenary session (Monday, March 20, 2023), all 22 members of the Senate were in attendance and unanimously voted in support of Senate Bill Nos. (SBN) 1359 (‘No Permit, No Exam’ Prohibition Act) and 1864 (Student Loan Payment Moratorium During Disasters and Emergencies Act).
The main purpose of SBN 1359 is to prohibit the ‘No Permit, No Exam’ rule and to disallow any policy that bars students from taking educational assessments due to unpaid financial or property obligations, such as tuition and other school fees in both public and private schools.
The approved measure also forbids schools to compel students and their parents or legal guardians to pay a portion of the outstanding financial obligation. Instead, schools are encouraged to enforce other interventions such as withholding the release of diplomas or certificates, denying admission or enrolment in the succeeding school year or semester, refusing the issuance of applicable clearances, and pursuing the settlement of outstanding financial or property obligations through appropriate legal action.
SB 1359 was authored by Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri, Senate President Pro-Tempore Loren Legarda, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, and Senators Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., Ronald “Bato” M. Dela Rosa, Cynthia Villar, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Win Gatchalian, Manuel “Lito” Lapid, Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, and Christopher Lawrence T. Go.
On the other hand, SBN 1864 provides a respite for college students from paying their financial obligations to their schools if they fall during a declaration of either a national or local state of calamity in the area where they are located.
The moratorium shall be effective for the duration of the state of calamity or emergency and 30 days after the lifting of such state of calamity or emergency. During that time, no penalty or interest shall be collected on the deferred payments.
SBN 1864 was likewise authored by Senators Zubiri, Legarda, Villanueva, Lapid, Escudero, Revilla and Go.
Meanwhile, the Senate also passed on the third reading of House Bill No. (HBN) 4635, or the extension of full-time service of the President of Adiong Memorial State College (AMSC) in Lanao del Sur from three years to four years, in accordance with Republic Act 8292, otherwise known as the Higher Education Modernization Act.
The president of the AMSC will also be eligible for reappointment for an additional three-year term. HBN 4635 was also approved unanimously.