The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is helping seventeen (17) private higher education institutions (HEIs) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to be included in the CHED Registry to benefit from the programs under Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Law.
These 17 private HEIs (see attached list) and their offered programs were found to be compliant with all the policies, standards, and guidelines of CHED in Academic Year 2020-2021 and have been given the Certificate of Government Recognition (COPC).
“BARMM remains to have the highest poverty incidence across regions and the pandemic just worsened the situation. That is why we are assisting these HEIs to be included immediately in the validation for qualified Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) beneficiaries. Access to free and quality tertiary education will continue to be offered to our disadvantaged Filipino students by giving them additional funds that will help them cope with the health crisis and cover not only their educational needs but even their living expenses,” said CHED and UniFAST Board Chairman Popoy De Vera.
While these private HEIs already have government recognition, they have yet to pass an evaluation by the CHED Regional Office before making it to the CHED Registry of Programs. UniFAST then issues the credentials to the HEI to access the TES Portal, where they would submit information of their enrolled students for the validation and verification process.
Programs offered by Valdez Mother and Child (VMC) Asian College Foundation, a private school in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, are some of the newest additions to the CHED Registry.
“As we pursue our efforts in reconfiguring the higher education in the Bangsamoro, we are confident that CHED, under the strong leadership of Chairman Popoy De Vera, will continue to extend its support and assistance to help improve the delivery of our higher education services in the region,” said Higher Education Director General Marjuni Maddi of the Bangsamoro Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE).
“On top of what the CHED is doing for the student grantees of UniFAST and other scholarship programs of the government, we are also grateful for the HECBOL Project. It has provided us a vibrant platform for collaboration and network, as evidenced by a good teamwork and partnership during the assessment and evaluation of VMC Asian College Foundation,” he added.
The evaluation process of the abovementioned HEIs is conducted together with CHED Region XII, Region IX and MBHTE. CHED continues to assist the other private HEIs in BARMM so that students enrolled in these schools may avail themselves of the benefits of the TES and Student Loan Program (SLP).
For Academic Year 2020-2021, more than 42,709 students in state universities and colleges (SUCs) in BARMM are benefiting from free higher education (FHE) while the first year of implementation of the TES Program in AY 2018-2019 registered 10,965 TES grantees both for public and private HEIs in the region. The number increased to 17,967 in AY 2019-2020 and has jumped to 19,876 for AY 2021-2022.