Transparency Seal

Symbolism

A pearl buried inside a tightly-shut shell is practically worthless. Government information is a pearl, meant to be shared with the public in order to maximize its inherent value. The Transparency Seal, depicted by a pearl shining out of an open shell, is a symbol of a policy shift towards openness in access to government information. On the one hand, it hopes to inspire Filipinos in the civil service to be more open to citizen engagement; on the other, to invite the Filipino citizenry to exercise their right to participate in governance.

This initiative is envisioned as a step in the right direction towards solidifying the position of the Philippines as the Pearl of the Orient a shining example for democratic virtue in the region.

I. Agency’s mandate and functions; names of its officials with their position and designation, and contact information;
  • By virtue of R.A. No. 10687, the UniFAST’s mandate is to harmonize, reform, strengthen, expand, rationalize, and re-focus all legislated or on-going Student Financial Assistance Programs of the government for greater efficiency, coherence, synchronization, effective funding, and improved coordination among implementing entities in their specific jurisdiction. With the passage of R.A. No. 10931, the UniFAST is mandated to implement Free Higher Education in SUCs and CHED-Recognized LUCs, Tertiary Education Subsidy, Student Loan Program, and, through the TESDA, the Free TVET and TES for TVET.

  • The Board exercises the following powers and functions:

    1. Formulate and approve policies and strategies for UniFAST, and review existing policies to ensure consistency with policy framework under R.A. No. 10687;
    2. Coordinate with the implementing agencies of existing StuFAPs in the formulation, approval and issuance of guidelines towards the development and promotion of the UniFAST;
    3. Provide necessary support to implementing agencies, technical or otherwise, to ensure the effective implementation of this Act;
    4. Prepare, approve, and submit to the CHED its own budget proposal, in addition to the individual budget proposals prepared by the various implementing agencies, including vetting, modifying and integrating all requests for public funding of Tertiary Education StuFAPs;
    5. Promulgate the minimum guidelines, rules and regulations for determining qualified Beneficiaries of student financial assistance for Tertiary Education;
    6. Provide general guidelines for the drawing up of contracts with the student Beneficiaries specifying the rights and obligations of the parties that may include a service clause or such other stipulations of cost recovery the Board may deem in the best interest of the public and consistent with, or responsive to, national, social, economic, and human resources development plans;
    7. Monitor, assess and make impact evaluation of StuFAPs and projects, with the end in view of determining whether these programs shall be adopted, continued, or terminated;
    8. Adopt a Qualifying Examination System for Scoring Students for merit and talent-based StuFAPs and determine the eligibility for Grants-in-Aid and other modalities of StuFAPs;
    9. Provide and promote a supportive policy environment for the growth and development of private sector participation for Scholarships, Grants-in-Aid, Student Loans or other modalities of StuFAP;
    10. Establish and maintain, on the public websites of the CHED and TESDA, a database containing information on StuFAPs and accredited public and private Tertiary Education programs and institutions;
    11. Take all necessary actions to disseminate information on the database established and maintained under R.A. No. 10687 in order to encourage its use by interested parties and to ensure that Beneficiaries are able to maximize the benefits from UniFAST through informed decision-making, allowing them freedom of choice among accredited public and private Tertiary Education programs and institutions;
    12. Design a program of generating funds for the UniFAST;
    13. Facilitate and tap donations, legacies, gifts and other forms of contribution, whether in cash or in kind, from both public and private sources and to tap the services and assistance of experts;
    14. Appoint members of the UniFAST Secretariat upon the recommendation of the Executive Director;
    15. Appoint one (1) or more legal officers with authority to file cases in court;
    16. Set up, maintain and update an official registry of quality-assured academic and research programs and Tertiary Education institutions;
    17. Approve the appropriate honorarium and per diem for the members of the Board, in accordance with the relevant government rules and regulations;
    18. Develop an efficient tracking system of Student-Borrowers, as well as a system of disbursement and collection of payments of loans granted under this Act, including entering into agreements with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), GSIS, SSS, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Bureau of Immigration (BI), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP), Credit Information Corporation (CIC), private and public banks and banking intermediaries, credit information bureaus, and other government financial institutions, inclusive of investigating and checking the whereabouts of delinquent Student-Borrowers, and setting up mechanisms for blacklisting of defaulting Student-Borrowers in application for loans, credit cards, and other credit facilities; and
    19. Perform such other powers and functions as may be deemed necessary and incidental for the effective implementation of Republic Act 10687.
  • The Secretariat exercises the following functions:

    1. Provide technical and administrative support services to the Board’s policy-making and implementation functions;
    2. Review, evaluate, and assess programs, plans of action, and agenda of the Board, and concomitantly recommend the approval or cancellation of such programs, plans of action, and agenda of the Board;
    3. Review, evaluate, and assess programs, plans of action, and agenda of the implementing agencies, including proposals for funding, and recommend the approval or cancellation of such programs, plans of action, and agenda of the implementing agencies to the Board;
    4. Maintain and update a repository of data and information on all StuFAPs for Tertiary Education administered by any government agency, branch, or instrumentality and create and maintain a comprehensive database system on the government’s StuFAPs accessible to the public, pursuant to the policy of transparency and good governance;
    5. Recommend, manage, and monitor the processes of contracting out the implementation of UniFAST activities which would be best accomplished by third party providers, as approved by the Board; and
    6. Perform such other powers and functions as may be determined by the Board.
    7. Implement Free Higher Education in SUCs and CHED-Recognized LUCs, Tertiary Education Subsidy, Student Loan Program and other scholarships, grants-in-aid, student loans, and other modes of StuFAPs under R.A. No. 10687.

    By virtue of R.A. No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, the administration of the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) and the Student Loan Program (SLP) pertains to the UniFAST. By virtue of UniFAST Board Memorandum Circular No. 2018-02, part of the processing of Free Higher Education billings of SUCs and CHED-Recognized LUCs, specifically with respect to the evaluation of billing submissions, is assigned to the UniFAST Secretariat – Central Office. Lastly, by Special Provisions of the GAA starting FY 2020, the UniFAST also administers the Tulong Dunong Program.

  • UniFAST Secretariat Officials
  • Regional Offices