The Senate is nearing approval of a measure that would extend financial assistance like student loans to cash-strapped but deserving college students until they finish their chosen courses in either private or public university.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto today said his amendments to the proposed Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UNIFAST) Act would ensure that no college student would be deprived of the opportunity to finish his or her course for lack of funds.
The UNIFAST Act (Senate Bill 2679) expands the country’s government-funded scholarship program by opening up multiple windows to college students committed to graduating their courses such as student loans, subsidized tuition and outright free tuition to poor but exemplary college students.
“If enacted, 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.
“The days of selling the family’s heirloom, farm beasts or running to loan sharks to enroll every semester would hopefully be a thing of the past. Now, you can trust the UNIFAST to get you through college,” he further said.
The Senate leader said his amendment during yesterday’s deliberation mandates that top three graduates of all public high schools in the country would have the first crack of being “iskolar ng bayan” with easy loans payable in installment basis.
“The student loan granted should be repaid in installment basis after the student graduates or leaves the educational institution. This is because we don’t want to burden our college scholars of simultaneously working for good grades while also looking for cash to pay their loans,” Recto said.
“The faster we send them to college and leave the campus, the faster they will become development partners of this country. The UNIFAST Act will be there to assist them,” he added.
Recto thanked Sen. Pia Cayetano, sponsor of the measure, for accepting his amendments.
The proposed UNIFAST Act is fast moving to third and final reading approval in the upper chamber.