CHED approves fees hike in 268 private schools
■ Camille Guadalupe Lita
Almost one in six private higher education institutions (HEIs) is allowed to increase tuition and other school fees (OSFs) for academic year 2017 to 2018, despite the students’ clamor for affordable and free education under the Duterte administration.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) approved on May 25 the fee hike proposal of 268 private HEIs nationwide. A total of 262 will increase tuition collection by 6.96 percent or P86.68 per unit while 237 HEIs will increase OSFs by 6.90 percent or P243.
The National Capital Region has the most number of HEIs with approved hikes, where 69 of 317 HEIs will increase tuition and 65 HEIs will increase OSFs. Central Luzon came next with 32 of its 169 HEIs set for fee increase, and Davao Region with 32 of 77 schools.
Meanwhile, the highest tuition and OSFs increase was recorded in Bicol Region with a 28.93 percent or P45.79 per unit tuition hike and additional 22.73 percent or P84.65 in OSFs.
As justification for the fee increase, CHED cited various laws on tuition and OSFs like the Education Act of 1982 which gives private schools the right to determine its rate of charges, and CHED Memorandum Order No. 3 Series of 2012 or the “Enhanced Guidelines and Procedures Governing Increases in Tuition and OSFs and for Other Purposes” that takes into account the economic background of the school and its area.
“In the light of contending concerns and interests in society, there is a need to balance access issues with sustainability of educational institutions,” according to CHED on its May 29 press release.
However, the increase for additional tuition and OSFs is unnecessary as calls for free education became stronger among students and youth organizations, said Shari Oliquino, University Student Council Councilor and Rise for Education Convenor.
“[Makikita natin ito bilang] klarong pag-atake sa karapatan sa edukasyon, mas maraming mga kabataan ang hindi makakapag-aral bilang napatunayan na sa iskema ng pagtaas ng tuition at OSFs, kita ang nagiging primarya,” Oliquino added.
In the University of Santo Tomas alone, its income revenue surged to P1.3 billion in 2015, from P941 million in 2010. Other universities with recorded increased revenues on the same period include the Far Eastern University, De La Salle University, Lyceum of the Philippines University, and University of the East. ■
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