Tertiary Education Subsidy in Full Swing Sep 02, 2019 Written by PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) through the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) has instructed all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to submit lists of their students enrolled in the 1st semester AY 2018-2019 belonging to poorest of the poor, poor and near poor households who may qualify for the Tertiary Education Subsidy benefits. The Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES), as one of the core programs under the Republic Act No. 10931 also known as the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, has an allocation of PhP16 billion from the PhP40 billion budget to implement the law. It is a grants-in-aid program that provides funding for all Filipino students from the poorest-of-the-poor households enrolled in public and private HEIs. Students currently enrolled in the 112 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), 78 CHED-recognized Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs), and quality-assured programs in private HEIs in the 1st semester the Academic Year 2018–2019 who are in the Listahanan 2.0 of DSWD are eligible TES beneficiaries. Final selection shall be subject to prioritization and availability of funds. HEIs should submit these lists on or before September 30, to give student applicants enough time to prepare for the documentary requirements. Schools are expected to assist their potential student applicants, complete the TES Updated Template 2018 form and submit these to the TES Portal of the UniFAST. TES prioritization will apply in the following order as laid out in the Implementing Rules and Regulations on RA 10931: (1) continuing grantees of the CHED’s Expanded Students Grants in Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation or ESGP-PA students; (2) students residing and studying in private HEIs in cities/municipalities with no existing SUC or CHED-recognized LUC; (3) students included in the Listahanan 2.0; and (4) those not in the Listahanan 2.0 but show proof of indigency such as BIR certificate of no income, or barangay certificate of indigency, and ranked according to per capita income. Roughly 300,000 students can receive financial support from the government to cover the cost of their tertiary education including tuition (in private HEIs) and other school fees and allowances for books and other education-related expenses such as transportation, board and lodging.