ILOILO CITY – The Rise for Education Alliance condemned the annual hike for tuition and other school fees in public and private schools. Last August 3, 2017, President Duterte signed the Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, which provides free tuition and miscellaneous fees in all state universities and colleges.
However, according to Phillippe Hinosa, representative of the Rise for Education Alliance , Duterte is not sincere in his pursuit for free, quality, accessible, education because of the continuous budget cuts in the education sector.
According to data, the approved P40.7B budget for CHED this year is P11.6B less compared to the P52.4B of the agency last 2019, despite the P4.1T increase in the national budget this year.
The alliance believes that due to the lack of funding, drop-out rates would increase alarmingly, many students would lose their scholarships, and financial assistance for students would be limited.
According to the group, school administrators would have no choice but to force students to shoulder the redundant and exorbitant school fees. In the College of Nursing of West Visayas State University, the administration still collects an enrolment fee of P4,280. Laboratory and Graduation fees are still being shouldered by students of the University of the Philippines – Visayas.
Hinosa emphasizes that we must remain vigilant in monitoring private institutions such as the Central Philippine University which enforces 10% minimum tuition free increase and 20%-100% hike in miscellaneous fees.
The Rise for Education alliance strongly condemns Duterte’s outright neglect of duty to the people through his intensified forces in anti-people and counter-insurgency policies.
The group states that the people do not want additional funds for military camps but demand for additional budget for basic social services.
Hinosa states that it is a big challenge for the youth to demand accountability from the traitor of the masses which is the Duterte administration. With this, anger and dissent towards the regime through mass mobilizations such as NCA Walkout against tuition and other school fee increases in February 28.
IN A RELATED NEWS,
Rise for Education – Panay denounced the proposed tuition and other school fee increase in Central Philippine University for the coming school year 2020-2021.
In the data collected by the group, the tuition fee in the said university will increase for up to 10% while miscellaneous fees will increase by 50-100%.
According to the group, every year the university increases its tuition and other school fees without proper consultation with the students.
Last February 10, the university conducted an information dissemination instead of a consultation.
According to the students who attended the activity, they were not asked if they are in favor of the tuition fee increase for the next school year or not. Most of the students were not even informed of the information dissemination activity and even the proposed increase in tuition fee.
According to the university, the salary increase of the teachers, upgrading of the facilities, and the costly expenses, were the reasons of the tuition and other school fee increase.
However according to Rise for Education, there is no need to increase the tuition since 70% of the whole tuition fee goes to teachers’ salary, 20% goes to maintenance and other operating expenses, while the remaining 10% is the school’s profit.
The group added that last year there was no significant increase in the teachers’ salary despite the tuition fee increase.
The group calls the university not to implement the tuition fee increase since many of the students were affected by typhoon Ursula last December and have not even received any aid from the government.
The group added that burden of the students and their families brought by the continuing increase in the price of basic commodities while family income remains low, will only be worsened by tuition and other school fee increase.
The group also calls the student body to oppose such tuition fee increase and join the petition signing that they will be submitting to CHED region 6 and CHED national office.
The Rise for Education is an alliance of students, student councils and organizations, who call for an accessible and affordable education for all./PT