Sep 7, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

A new law in the Philippines will make state universities free in the Philippines.

An article in The National explained that President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law, despite warnings from his advisors that the country may not be able to afford it.

Under the law, all students at government-run schools will be exempt from paying tuition and fees.

The President’s critics warned that the law will benefit mainly wealthy students, and urged him not to sign it.

Deputy presidential executive secretary Menardo Guevarra said, “Free tertiary education in state universities and colleges is a very strong pillar or cornerstone of the president’s social development policy.”

Guevarra continued and explained that everyone needed to work together to help fund the bill, which is estimated to cost $1.96 billion.

Congressman Salvador Belaro, one of the authors of the bill for free state college tuition said that costs could be five times that for the next five years.

Under the current budget for 2018, the Philippines’ 114 state universities and colleges have a $1.3 billion budget, and a total education budget of about $13.5 billion.

Learn more about studying in the Philippines

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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