CHED: Late reimbursement for public HEIs not shifting calendar
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - April 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Public higher education institutions (HEIs) that will not shift their academic calendars may encounter delays in reimbursing fees covered by the free higher education law, according to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

CHED chairman J. Prospero De Vera III on Wednesday said they are encouraging state and local universities and colleges (SUCs/LUCs) to move their opening of classes to August as part of their efforts to synchronize the implementation of the free higher education policy. 

“The reimbursement of your tuition and miscellaneous may happen later rather than earlier because the timelines don’t synchronize,” he said when asked what will happen to public HEIs that will not change their calendars. 

“You will still get it, but budgeting wise, you may not get it as fast as you should. That has an implication on the operations of state universities,” he added. 

CHED earlier issued a memorandum enjoining SUCs and LUCs to synchronize their academic calendars with the fiscal year, with De Vera saying it would facilitate better process in the reimbursement of tuition and other fees covered by the free higher education policy. 

Under the program, qualified SUCs and LUCs would have to reimburse CHED with the fees they waived from their students. 

De Vera previously raised challenges in implementing the cash-based budgeting scheme being pushed by the government due to the varying academic calendars of the HEIs.

He noted that applications for reimbursement filed at the end of the year could either be for first or second semester enrolments.

With the academic calendar synchronized with the fiscal year, he said managing the funds would be less complicated for the agency as requests from schools will cover the same period.

De Vera said the respective boards of regents of the public HEIs will still have to approve the calendar shift before it can be implemented. 

The memorandum encouraging the calendar shift does not cover private tertiary institutions. 

The shift will also not be implemented in elementary and high schools. 

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