Yes, we must give credit to the members of the House of Representatives and to the Senators who crafted bills that led to this bill and tried to push it into fruition. A big thank you to all of them.
And they are: Sen. Pangilinan for his Tuition Free Higher Education Act of 2016, Sen. Gatchalian’s Free Higher Education Act, Sen.Ejercito’s Tuition-Free Higher Education Act of 2016, Sen. Aquino’s Free Higher Education for All Act, Sen. Angara’s One Family, One Graduate Act, and Senate Recto’s Free Public College Tuition Act of 2016.
This is hardly the first time a bill for free college education has been around. Rep Sherwin Gatchalian’s, for instance, has been around since August 2015. I am almost sure there are precedents to these kinds of bills. We’ve heard this idea of free college education being bandied about for ages. And most probably, none of us believed it.
I know I didn’t.
I scoffed at all that posturing. Because I knew them so well, these politicos. Puro porma and so devoid of political will. All they could think about is how pogi this will make them look and “Ano kayang exchange rate neto sa votes?” or “Pano ba kickbakan dito?”
Useless bastards. That’s what these politicians were. Our country’s biggest thieves too. Solidly part of the problems that dragged our country to the gutter.
Until Rodrigo Duterte’s leadership– that president whos’s not big on words but big on GETTING THINGS DONE. The one with the political will of steel. The one who hates corruption like anything (with the blind spot for the most kurakot of them all, the Marcoses. Go figure. So inaabangan ko yan.)
During the Bicameral Conference, the House of Representatives thought this was a no-go and a stalemate was looming because the House thought it was an impossibility.
And it was an impossibility because where do they get the funds for this? Where do they source it? (And malamang, pano na porsyento nila pag binigay nila sa bayan ang dapat ibigay sa bayan? Unprecedented eh so medjo nahilo sila. HAHA.. Alam natin yan.)
Senate then proposed that the 8 Bn be taken from the ARMM fund. It was only after some “prodding” from Malacañang that Congressman Nograles said yes to this.
And so it has come to pass.
This has the President’s hand all over it.
And why is this to be credited to him besides his shadow ninja moves with the Senate and the House?
BECAUSE HE ALONE SIGNS IT. He has the final say. And he can shoot this down.
The very same way PNoy shot down the 2k increase in monthly SSS pensions upon recommendation of the heartless bastards in the SSS.
That bill had been approved by the Senate and House. And when it got to PNoy’s desk, he said “Sorry, no way.”
So see, Pres Duterte gets the biggest credit here.
The buck stops with the President.
And do you see him turning this down? Do ya? Do ya? Do yaaaaa???
I rest my case, your honor.
**Photo by Dr. Elise Aguilar**