M a n i l a

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 577 November 11, 1974


WHEREAS, the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, more than any other body of government personnel, have been called upon to carry the great share of the grave burden of suppressing the activities of groups of men engaged in criminal conspiracy to seize state power in the Philippines and of people causing widespread lawlessness, disorder and wanton destruction of lives and property, endangering the political and economic stability of the country;

WHEREAS, the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are sacrificing at the risk of their lives and that of their families in order to achieve the preservation of peace and order;

WHEREAS, the dependents of the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines equally share the burden of the sacrifices of these military personnel by being left on their own resources most of the time; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary to enhance and keep at a high level the morale of this military personnel while engaged in the serious and delicate task of safeguarding the security of the country and additional task of social and economic development;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21, 1972, do hereby decree and order that bona fide dependents of members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to include trainees and draftees who have died or are incapacitated and those who shall die or may be incapacitated in line of duty shall be exempt from the payment of tuition and matriculation fees in public or in private schools, universities, colleges and other educational institutions, in accordance with the following provisions:

Section 1. Definition of terms. For purposes of this decree, the following terms are defined as shown:

a. Dependents The spouse and unmarried children of married military personnel, and the parents or any one next of kin of unmarried military personnel.

b. Military Personnel Commissioned officers, enlisted personnel, trainees and draftees who are in the active service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

c. Grantee The military dependent who is the recipient of the benefit.

d. Benefit Complete exemption from the payment of tuition and matriculation fees in any public or private school.

e. School Year Total of two (2) semesters and one (1) summer.

f. School Levels Elementary, secondary, and collegiate levels, excluding free school and postgraduate courses.

g. Tuition Fee collected by the school in paying for the instruction.

h. Matriculation Fee collected by the school in consideration for the acceptance and registration of student.

Section 2. Scope and Limitations

a. The benefit shall be extended to any one dependent of military personnel in the active service who have died or were incapacitated in line of duty since September 21, 1972 and those who shall die and may be incapacitated in line of duty hereafter.

b. This benefit may be enjoyed for a maximum of ten (10) school years.

c. This benefit is transferable to any of the dependents of the military personnel, at the option of the next of kin, provided it will not exceed ten (10) school years.

d. This benefit is without prejudice to other educational benefits previously being enjoyed by the military personnel or his dependents.

Section 3. Prerequisites and Standards

a. Admission of grantees to any school shall be in accordance with existing laws and the admission policies of the school.

b. Except for grantees who are graduating from any school level, or except for meritorious reasons, grantees shall not be allowed to transfer from school where they were enrolled prior to the grant of this benefit to another school.

c. As long as the grantee satisfactorily passes the course of instruction based on the approved standards of the schools, he shall continue to enjoy the benefit. In case of failure in any subject or in a school year, the benefit shall be suspended and the grantee, at his option, may retake the subjects failed, or repeat the entire school year, at his own expense.

d. The benefit shall be terminated in case the grantee is expelled from the school, or is convicted by any court for any crime involving moral turpitude.

Section 4. Implementing Rules and Regulations

The Secretary of National Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of Education and Culture, shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this Decree.

Section 5. Penal Provisions

Any person who shall knowingly shall make false representations in connection with the application and/or approval of the benefit shall be charged before a court martial, military tribunal or civil court, as appropriate, and shall be punished as the court martial, tribunal, or civil court may direct.

Section 6. Effectivity This Decree shall take effect upon approval.

DONE in the City of Manila, this 11th day of November, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-four.

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