KNOWN for their pro-people, pro-poor projects in their respective congressional turf, An-Waray Party-list Rep. Bem Noel and wife, Malabon City Rep. Jaye Lacson-Noel, have found themselves, even if they don’t want to be branded that way, to be the saving heroes, the guardian angels, of many poor Filipinos.
The solon-couple was simply the ‘A-Team’ at the lower chamber that actually pushed the consolidated House Bill 7584 – the ‘No Permit, No Exam’ policy – of course with the support of their colleagues – some were their co-principal sponsors – that passed it and now already transmitted to the Senate and eventually President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.’s approval.
The duo said their measure was primarily meant to aid students “to achieve quality education by allowing them to focus on their exams first, and worry about their tuition fees later.’
They even cited a case of a freshman student in 2013 who allegedly took her own life after she’s forced to put her studies on hold because she couldn’t pay her tuition.
The bill aims to penalize private elementary and secondary schools as well as public and private post-secondary technical-vocational institutes and public, private higher educational institutions that’ll bar learners from taking the examinations due to unsettled financial obligations.
Reps. Noel and Lacson-Noel said schools are prohibited from disallowing students with due and unpaid tuition and other school fees from taking exams or providing a different schedule of exams from the rest of the student body.
Also, the schools are barred from requiring students to secure a special permit to take the exams from the school authorities immediately prior to the administration of examinations.
But of course, the parents or guardians of learners must execute a promissory note prior to the taking of examination,” they stressed.
Taking into consideration the schools’ interest and needs, the solon-couple said they can withhold the release of the grades of a student with delinquent account until the unpaid tuition and other school fees are fully paid.