Lawmakers call for moratorium on tuition hikes
Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun
Photogaphed by Erwin Mascariñas, News5 | InterAksyon

Lawmakers call for moratorium on tuition hikes

Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - May 12, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Congressmen yesterday called for a moratorium on tuition and other fee increases for school year 2021-2022 amid the pandemic.

Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun and members of the Makabayan bloc called on the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to prevent private schools from increasing their school fees.

They said any school fee increase will only add to the suffering of families who are dealings with the high prices of goods and services, meager salaries and insufficient pandemic subsidies.

“I am appealing to all private schools not to implement an increase on school fees for 2021-2022 school year. I am requesting DepEd and CHED to encourage private schools not to increase their tuition and other fees,” Fortun said in a statement.

The Makabayan bloc, for its part, filed a House resolution urging DepEd and CHED to impose the moratorium on tuition increases and implement academic easing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lawmakers, led by Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate, said a tuition moratorium is necessary to give parents and students a respite from everyday expenses while ensuring learning continuity.

Meanwhile, Fortun bared that Congress is also working with DepEd and CHED to assist distressed private schools.

“We proved this with the pandemic tax rates, which the small nonprofit proprietary school can avail of with proper filings with the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue). The (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) should come up with non-tax incentives that can reduce operation costs of small private schools and other small businesses,” Fortun said.

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