BY RONALYN V. OLEA
A youth group said the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is spineless amid reports that 130 tertiary schools across the country will increase tuition by five to ten percent.
According to CHED, 30 of these schools come from the National Capital Region, 26 from Calabarzon, 14 from Northern Mindanao, 12 from Western Mindanao, 10 from Bicol, eight from Davao, seven from Socsksargen, six from Western Visayas, five from Ilocos, four each from Central Luzon and Caraga, two from Mimaropa, and one each from the Cordillera Autonomous Region and the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao.
Alvin Peters, spokesperson of the Kabataang Pinoy and national president of the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), said, “It now appears that CHED’s earlier appeal for a freeze in tuition hikes is really just lip service and downright insincere.”
The NUSP’s Tuition Monitor documented proposed increases in tuition and other fees.
“We brought them to CHEd’s attention but they neglected to act on our complaints and instead just came up with a bogus appeal for a tuition freeze to downplay student protests,” Peters said.
Peters said that they have submitted to CHED a critique of CHED Memorandum No. 13, the existing guideline for tuition increase consultations.
“CHED Memo 13 is a veritable ‘rubber stamp’ for schools to increase tuition and other fees. No real consultations happened between school administrators and other stakeholders such as parents and students,” Peters said.
The memorandum does not cover increases in miscellaneous and other fees.
CHED urged to deny tuition hikes
Meanwhile, House Deputy Minority Leader Satur Ocampo and Bayan Muna Rep. called on the CHED to “exercise its mandate to ensure that education shall be accessible to all by preventing schools from raising both its tuition and miscellaneous fees for the coming school year.”
“It will only be correct for CHED chair Emmanuel Angeles to deny the petitions for hiking tuition, including miscellaneous fees,” Ocampo said.
Ocampo said the “government should put an end to its perennial refusal to regulate school fees since soaring tuition and miscellaneous fee rates have not contributed to raising the quality of education in the country.”
No moratorium in SUCs
The group also slammed Malacañang for blatantly lying about stopping tuition increases in state colleges and universities (SUCs).
Last month, the University of the Philippines Board of Regents approved a string of increases in miscellaneous and laboratory fees.
These include an increase in the UP Mindanao tuition of graduate students of the School of Management from P400 per unit to P1000 per unit and increase in miscellaneous fees from P1,530 to P2,330 per semester; an increase in the UP Diliman College of Home Economics graduate program tuition from P550 per unit to P2500 per unit; an increase in the School of Statistics tuition for graduate program from P600 per unit to P2,500 per unit.
Tuition in the UP Extension Programs in Pampanga and Olongapo graduate programs will also increase from P1,500 to P2,500 per unit. New laboratory fees will also be imposed on students of the Colleges of Mass Communications and Engineering.
Peters said CHED and Malacañang should not just make appeals but come out with a concrete moratorium order on tuition and miscellaneous hikes on all higher education institutions this coming school year.(Bulatlat.com)