By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

(File photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has signed into law a measure prohibiting the “‘no permit, no exam” policy to allow disadvantaged students to take scheduled periodic and final examinations despite unsettled financial obligations.

In a statement on Saturday, Communication Secretary Cheloy Garafil said Marcos signed Republic Act (RA) 11984, or the “No Permit, No Exam” Prohibition Act on March 11.

Garafil said RA 11984 covers all public and private basic education (K to 12) institutions, higher education institutions, and technical-vocational institutions (TVIs).

“Students with unpaid tuition and other school fees could now take periodic and final examinations, following President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s signing of Republic Act 11984,” she said.

Garafil said all covered public and private educational institutions found guilty of violating RA 11984 will be subject to administrative sanctions that may be imposed by the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Under RA 11984, all public and private educational institutions are mandated to accommodate and allow disadvantaged students with unpaid tuition and other school fees to take the periodic and final exams without requiring a permit.

In the case of K to 12 students, the mandate will be for the entire school year, according to the new law.

Garafil said RA 11984 should be implemented without prejudice to the right and power of the educational institutions to require the submission of a promissory note, withhold the records and credentials of students, and such other legal and administrative remedies available to them for the collection of unpaid fees.

The law mandates the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to issue the necessary certificate on the disadvantaged status of the student due to calamities, emergencies, force majeure (uncontrollable events), and other good or justifiable reasons.

The issuance of certificates by the municipal, city, and provincial social welfare and development officer, or the regional office of the DSWD should be in accordance with the agency’s implementing rules and regulations.

Garafil said the DSWD, in consultation with all relevant stakeholders, shall promulgate the rules and regulations defining “disadvantaged student” and the criteria and requirements for the effectivity of the issuance of necessary certifications by different entities involved to effectively carry out the law.

Malacañang has yet to release a copy of RA 11984. (PNA)