Cebu News

400 Phl schools to hike tuition

May B. Miasco - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Around 400 schools nationwide, including two universities in Cebu City, plan to increase tuition and other school fees for the next school year.

This according to the National Union of Students of the Philippines based on the data gathered by NUSP’s Tuition Monitor Network.

The proposed increase of tuition reached 13 percent while proposed ‘other school fees’ increases had gone up to 20 percent, according to its latest tuition monitor data.  However, it noted that the rate might change as reports of increases are still coming in.

The Commission on Higher Education earlier said they will scrutinize the proposals from colleges and universities that want to increase tuition fees so they can safeguard public interest.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte previously said on February 21 that CHED will make sure that colleges and universities comply with the guidelines set by the Commission before imposing higher tuition fees, and that the proposed increase will be thoroughly assessed.

Dr. Josefino Ronquillo, Supervising Education Program Specialist of CHED-7 said they cannot provide any information yet, since there is still no official list released by CHED head office.

He admitted though that some schools are processing their requirements for the tuition fee increase, however, they cannot give any further information since the proposals set by institutions have not yet been approved.

“That (the NUSP data) is misleading, they are preempting. As far as our office is concerned, wala pa’y official list,” said Ronquillo.

He further said that consultations would be set by respective schools on their scheduled dates. Stakeholders, which include the school administration, faculty members, representatives of the student body, would intervene for discussion.

“They would be meeting to discuss the proposed tuition fee increase, the administration has to present and justify for their proposals while the concerned parties could also give out their concerns during the consultation,” he explained.

In a separate interview, NUSP Vice President for Visayas Dyan Gumanao said they are against the tuition fee increases of colleges and universities across the country saying that consultations are only set to legitimize the institution’s plan for tuition fee increase.

“The increase of tuition fees has been implemented by some institutions every year. This is one of the reasons that a number of students could not attend colleges,” she said.

“The tuition fee is a manifestation that education in the Philippines has been commercialized,” she added, noting that education intended for the youth should be a right rather than a privilege.

Gumanao stated that it is even stipulated under the Philippine Constitution that an individual should have a right to education regardless of his or her socio-economic status in the community.

While for some educational institutions, NUSP noted that the partial list of schools reportedly proposing for increase of tuition and other school fees included two universities in Cebu. It named the University of San Carlos and the Cebu Normal University.

However, Gumanao clarified, referring to CNU, that there is still no formal policy from the university. The reported tuition fee increase was based on the accounts provided by students of the university.

As for USC, she said that based on their records, the institution has been imposing an increase in tuition fee for the past years.

“This time, they are planning of a 6.5 % tuition fee increase…they already had their consultation last February 18,” she said.

Established through the past years, she recalled that consultations have not been a venue for students to bring out their concerns.

“They conduct consultations just to legitimize their plans for increase. The bottom line is, CHED will still approve (their proposals) regardless of what the students have to say during the consultations,” Gumanao said.

“This is a nationwide call for students to boycott consultations for plans of tuition fee increase,” she added. —/BRP  (FREEMAN)


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