CH owes about P200M in scholars’ tuition fees
Mechelle P. Florita and Kristine B. Quintas/FPL (The Freeman) - May 23, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Tuition fees of the Cebu City scholars at the Asian College of Technology International Educational Foundation Inc. amounting to over P160 million covering four semesters remain unpaid until now.

Another school year will begin soon and a new batch of scholars will start attending classes, but the city government failed to settle an outstanding obligation which dates back to school years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. 

Ester Cubero of the city scholarship committee blamed the school for the delay of the payment. She said the school lacked the requirements such as the certification of failing and no failing grades. She, however, said that the papers are now being processed at the Accounting Office.

Stella Irene Galano, ACTIEF Scholarships and External Linkages director, said that despite the non-payment by the city government, the scholars were allowed to graduate.

She said the city scholars did not also spend personal money because they were given P10, 000 scholarship by the school itself on top of the P10,000 given by the city. ACTIEF had 4,391 and 3,988 city scholars in the first and second semesters of school year 2013-2014, respectively.

 There are 25 universities, colleges, and vocational- technical schools accredited by the Cebu City College Scholarship Program. In totality, there were 13, 796 city scholars in the first semester of school year 2013-2014 while 12, 642 in the following semester.

Aside from the ACTIEF, the city government has not also paid a total of P13,502,762 tuition fees in five schools for the first semester last school year. These schools are University of the Philippines with P759, 762; Cebu Normal University with P16,000; Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise with P1,680,000; Cebu Technological University with P11,037,000; and BMC Training Center for Welding and Fabrication with P10,000.

There were also other schools which have not been paid for the second semester. These include University of Cebu-Banilad with P40,000; Golden Success College with P100,000; Britech Interface College with P2,120,000; CCMC College of Nursing with P368,000; and Technological Education and Skills Development Authority with P103,000.

“Ang nahitabo man gud sa uban dugay kaayo naka submit sa mga requirements mao nga nadugay sab. Unya dugay baya kaayo ang processing,” Cubero said.

Meanwhile, the scholarship committee allegedly implemented policies that were not approved by the City Council.

For instance, city scholars are prohibited to transfer from one institution to another and they are not allowed to take up another degree program offered in different departments.

 Ida Yting, acting chairperson of the committee, said her predecessor has implemented the policy without the passage of the implementing rules and regulations. She, however, said the scholars were informed about it.

 But, majority floor leader Margarita Osmeña criticized the act of the committee.

 â€œImplementing something that has not yet submitted and approved is unjust,” Osmeña said.

Apart from the no transfer policy, some of the councilors commented on the requirements of acquiring the policy like guardian affidavits, barangay certification, government issued identification cards, and the like, which the council found “impractical”.

 According to Councilor Gerardo Carillo, the “long list” of requirements would discourage students from taking the scholarship program.

 â€œMa-discourage gyod ang mga studyante sa kadaghan sa requirements kay bisan pobre pa and di pa ka-afford pagastoon pa gyod,” Carillo ranted.

 Yting, however, clarified that some of the requirements were already waved. “Very lenient na ang requirements kay di gyod angayan pagastuhon pa ang pobre. This is a win-win solution,” she said.

 â€œIt is good to know that you have waved some of these requirements because these children deserve a better education,” Osmeña said.

 As of May 20, the city has already a total of 12,642 scholars in 25 colleges and universities.

 Giving of “economic scholarship” is in compliance with the City Ordinance No. 2333 (An order establishing the Cebu City College Scholarship Program and the Scholarship Committee membership composition) enacted last August 8, 2012.  (FREEMAN)

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