(From left to right) Cavite 2nd District Representative Lani Mercado-Revilla was greeted by Palawan Vice Governor Leoncio Ola, and Narra Municipal Vice Mayor Jay Calso upon landing in Puerto Princesa this April 24. (PN photo)

Cavite 2nd District Representative Lani Mercado-Revilla noted in a press conference Wednesday in Puerto Princesa that the recently-passed law would not completely allow students to leave their school balances unpaid, but would give those disadvantaged students some breathing room and lessen their worries when it comes to university exams.

Mercado-Revilla spoke about Republic Act (RA) 11984, or the “No Permit, No Exam Prohibition Act,” passed on March 11, 2024. The law was authored by her husband, Senator Bong Revilla, whom she represented during his office’s trip to Palawan while he recovered from an injury he sustained during film shooting.

Mercado-Revilla noted that the law will augment systems in place that were for the benefit of these disadvantaged students.

“Mayroong scholarship program si Bong Revilla, and other senators and public officials for that matter. Kahit papaano it will help augment the need pati yung sa mga magulang natin financially, para makabayad sila ng ating mga tuition fees ng kanilang mga anak,” she said.

The Anti-No Permit, No Exam law would place a sanction on those academic institutions that barred students from taking their final examinations without the final permit declaring their tuition fee balance.

Mercado-Revilla noted that this will help mitigate the dropout rate in state colleges and universities nationwide, which, according to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), reached 35.15% last school year (2023-2024), a number only slightly lower than SY 2022-2023’s 40.98%.

However, academic institutions have raised concerns about RA 11984, especially since some state colleges like Palawan State University were given a lower annual budget this upcoming year from CHED.

When asked how the law will help those private universities maintain their fees, Mercado-Revilla noted that it will not completely discourage those students from paying their fees in full.

“Sa Kongreso at mga senado, we will try to push for proper funding for our state colleges. And of course, ma-beef up din ang scholarship program ng national government para sa mga private colleges and institutions,” Mercado-Revilla noted.

Furthermore, Mercado-Revilla noted that an administrative sanction will befall those who go against RA 11984. “May specification doon sa batas kung magkano yung penalties kung saka-sakali mang labagin ito ng private institution,” she said.