Hontiveros questions delayed TES grants

They were told by DBM last year that the budget for TES payments was already released through CHEd Regional Office 12, but until now, they said that these haven’t been released.

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday pressed the Commission on Higher Education on reports of the delayed release of Tertiary Education Subsidy payments which affects the expenses of student-beneficiaries of the said grant.

This, as the Senate submitted its proposed P35.46 billion budget for the Commission for 2023.

TES is a separate form of subsidy mandated in Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education intended to support tuition and allowance expenses for eligible students in private colleges and universities and technical-vocational institutions, and other education expenses for those enrolled in state universities and colleges.

During the interpolation on CHEd’s budget, Hontiveros cited 400 complaints on the delay of TES grants, including in Region 12 where TES grants in two semesters between 2020 and 2022 have not been released, affecting a student population.

“They were told by DBM (Department of Budget and Management) last year that the budget for TES payments was already released through CHEd Regional Office 12, but until now, they said that these haven’t been released,” Hontiveros said.

The lady senator added that the delays have been reported since 2019, which she said is concerning for the students.

“Maybe for the Commission, three years running is not yet cause for alarm, but for students who rely on these financial support every semester, they are already alarmed,” Hontiveros said.

Meantime, Senator Pia Cayetano — who is endorsing CHEd’s budget — explained that funding for TES is requested by the DBM in April for release in June, except in election years when TES funding is requested as late as June.

“One thing that we could possibly do is to also talk to DBM because I asked the chairman and this was also the case in the previous years. Between September and the present, it’s already in the schools. I would be happy to make representations with DBM to make the funds release more sooner,” Cayetano said.


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