Senator JV Ejercito, one of the principal sponsors of the “Free Higher Education for All Act” will speak before graduating students in four campuses of the Bohol Island State University (BISU) on Monday and Tuesday, March 26-27, 2018.
Ejercito will deliver the commencement address to more than 3,600 candidates for graduation in separate ceremonies at the BISU main campus, Candijay, Balilihan, and Bilar.
Dioscoro Avergonzado, BISU President told the Chronicle that Ejercito was the top choice of the four campuses for his strong commitment to universal education for all students especially the poor but deserving students.
“His advocacy for universal access to quality education has endeared him to the BISU system which hews to its vision of inclusive growth thru free higher education”, according to Avergonzado.
Euphoric over the signing by President Rodrigo Duterte of Republic Act 10931 on August 3, 2017, Ejercito, one of the principal authors was quoted as saying ” I am very, very happy for the poor but deserving students studying in the SUC’s. I would like to thank the President for signing this landmark legislation into law, This is an investment to further equip our most precious resource – the human resource.”
Known as the “Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act”, the law provides all Filipinos with an equal opportunity to quality tertiary education giving priority to students who are academically able and comes from poor families.
BISU is one of the 112 state universities and colleges that will provide free tuition for students this year.
Ejercito’s legislative track record shows his efforts to push the interests of the youth sector thru innovative education bills filed before the Senate that led to the additional allocation for state universities and colleges budgetary requirements.
Among several bills filed by Ejercito were the Magna Carta of Students Rights and Welfare Act, a scholarship program for the poor but deserving students, the voluntary student loan program, the tuition fee rationalization act and a bill penalizing the no permit, no exam policy.
Ejercito, who is on his last three-year term as senator and is expected to run for re-election has also prioritized the needs of the teachers thru his teacher’s hiring program, public school teacher’s incentive act and pursued an increase in the allocation for barangay school buildings.
Also, less than a month after Bohol was devastated by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on October 15, 2013, Ejercito filed Senate Bill 1907 appropriating PhP15 billion for the aid, relief, rehabilitation, home rebuilding financing subsidy, livelihood and employment services, public infrastructure rebuilding, and heritage structures and tourism sites restoration for the earthquake victims.
Ejercito will address 530 students at the BISU Candijay Campus on Monday morning and will proceed to BISU Bilar to speak before 1,050 graduates in the afternoon.
On Tuesday morning, Ejercito will preside over the ground-breaking ceremonies of the PhP20 million BISU gymnasium and the PhP20 million BISU school building at the BISU Balilihan Campus.
Ejercito is the commencement speaker for 156 students on their graduation rites immediately after the ground-breaking ceremony and will immediately proceed to Tagbilaran City for the graduation ceremonies of more than 1,900 students at the BISU Main Campus.
Meetings with Governor Edgar Chatto, Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell “Baba” Yap, Tagbilaran Bishop Alberto Uy, Balilihan Mayor Pureza Chatto, BISU Officials, Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH) Chief Dra. Mutya Kismet Macuno, Peter Dejaresco, Chairman of the Bohol Chronicle Radio Corporation (BCRC) and the Bohol Jaycees Family will cap the 2-day visit of Ejercito. (Chito M. Visarra)