The House of Representatives has opened 2014 with the approval of twin education measures on second reading via a viva voce (voice) vote.
These two are the House Bill 3617 or the Voluntary Student Loan Program Act by Rep.
Roman Romulo of Pasig City and House Bill 3593 or the Ladderized Education Act by Romulo, Neptali Gonzales 2nd of Mandaluyong City and Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, among others.
The Voluntary Student Loan Program provides that private banks which will allot a portion of their loanable funds for loans to eligible students will be entitled to incentives by registering their student loan program with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
In addition, the BSP should provide other incentives which may non-monetary, to private banks participating in the voluntary student loan program.
The loan may either cover the entire or part of the cost of the program offered by the Higher Educational Institutions (HEI) or technical-vocational institute, including, but not limited to, tuition and miscellaneous fees, provided that adjustments will be made in case of increase in tuition and miscellaneous fees.
Likewise, it will include an amount for the cost of attendance, covering necessary expenses of the student for books, food, transportation, board and lodging and a reasonable allowance for projects and other school requirements.
The Ladderized Education Act, on the other hand, provides that the Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Department of Education should design harmonized guidelines and equivalency competency courses to enhance the delivery of high quality technical-vocational and higher education courses, synchronize standards and upgrade curriculum design per discipline and adopt a strategic implementation scheme, including a massive consultation and information dissemination scheme.