VSU called out alternative media organization Bulatlat after it has falsely reported that the university stopped its implementation of the free tuition during the second semester of S.Y. 2017 - 2018. Graphics by Raymund Pastoril

(UPDATED) BAYBAY CITY, Leyte – The Visayas State University called out alternative media organization Bulatlat after publishing false information on VSU’s implementation of free tuition.

The article, published on March 8, 2018, stated that VSU withdrew its enforcement of free tuition during the second semester of the school year 2017-2018, after switching to a socialized tuition system.

It also claimed that VSU has revised its grading system where students with incomplete standing or INC be immediately given a failing grade of 5.0.

In a statement published on Facebook, VSU responded and denied these claims. 

VSU explained that the university did not stop the implementation of the free tuition for the second semester of S.Y. 2017 -2018.

“Effective first semester of A.Y. 2017-2018, VSU stopped collecting matriculation fees, following the orders of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). We continued to implement this in the second semester of this school year."

VSU added that by next school year, in accordance with the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017, other school fees will also be free. It also dismissed the idea that it has switched to a socialized tuition scheme as well as modify its grading system.

The Dean of Students Prof. Manolo B. Loreto also clarified that the university had just submitted its record to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on March 5, 2018.

“We have submitted the billing to CHED just last March 5 for the tuition of our students in the whole [university] so there is no such thing that this was withdrawn in the second semester of this same academic year,” Prof. Loreto said.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Free Tuition Law or the Republic Act 10931 on August 3, 2017, providing free tuition for students of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in the country. 

Bulatlat apologized after being called out and has since corrected the story.

Bryan Delos Reyes contributed to this report.

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