I think there should be no state or local government-owned universities; all universities including UP should be private. Then government will give education vouchers to ALL university students, flat rate. say, P25,000 per university student per semester, maximum of 10 sems, and students must maintain a minimum of weighted grade average.
If the student enrols in a P50,000 school fees per semester, he or his parents/guardians will simply pay the balance. Or he can look for other scholarships to fill the gap. Poorer students can enrol in cheaper universities and pay nothing. This way, every university student is an "iskolar ng bayan", funded from taxes. And universities will work hard to improve their education to attract more students who all have money.
If government should subsidize university students, it should subsidize ALL, not just those in state universities. Currently the policy is very discriminating. If you enroll in UP, PUP, etc., "iskolar ng bayan" ka but if you enrol in UE, UST, etc., you pay on your own even if your parents pay taxes, part of it goes to state universities. Mini-cronyism in education.
A friend commented that in Nordic countries like Norway, education in all levels is free. Well, this is a function of how much social surplus a society has. High productivity, low population countries can afford that. But there is nothing wrong with parents paying for the education of their kids. After all, there should be more personal and parental responsibility in any society, and less government responsibility. Alangan naman painom-inom, pa-party-party lang parents, arguing that "education is government responsibility, not parental responsibility." Let parents and guardians have more responsibility, more purchasing power, and have more choices.
About results of the annual bar exams and the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduation, this is one fixation by the mainstream media and the public. Each year, zero exception, the bar top notchers and PMA top 10 graduates, are in the front pages of national newspapers and in TV news. These guys are achievers, true. But there are other guys who are also great achievers, like people who come back to the country with a PhD in number theory like Fidel Nemenzo. Or a PhD in astrophysics like Reina Reyes and so on. And they are nowhere mentioned in mainstream media.
Which somehow speaks how politically biased, or even shallow, the mainstream local media is. If you are the future Senator or Congressman/woman or President because of your cool achievement in the exams for lawyers, and if you are a future general with command and control of a huge army of men and women with guns, bombs, tanks and jet fighters, the public should glorify you now.