Cherry Orendain, Southern Mindanao spokesperson of Anakbayan, an nationwide mass organization of Filipino youth, said they are dismayed as CHED is supposed to be “a regulatory body to control school fees,” but the agency instead, “has become an instrument in the launching of such staged consultations for tuition hikes in campuses.”
By IRENE V. DAGUDOG
Davao City, Philippines – Tuition fees of college students studying in Davao City are expected to rise again.
As the Commission on Higher Education’s deadline for submission of intent to increase tuition and other fees closed last February 28, the agency announced that 19 colleges in Davao City have applied for tuition fees and other fee hikes for the school year 2013-2014.
Twenty-six Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have applied for increases for the entire region, four in Davao del Norte, two in Davao del Sur and one in Compostela Valley province.
The figure, CHED director Raul Alvarez announced in last Friday’s “Kapehan sa PIA” forum, is however, lower compared with last school year where 45 HEIs in the region, indicated they would increase tuition fees, 26 of these were schools in Davao City, eight in Davao del Sur, nine in Davao del Norte, one in Compostela Valley and another one in Davao Oriental.
Alvarez, however clarified that their agency merely admits applications for fee increases, but the schools in consultation with the students, alumni, faculty and non-teaching personnel are the ones who approve such hike proposals.
Such consultations, Alvarez said, are mandatory.
Cherry Orendain, Southern Mindanao spokesperson of Anakbayan, a nationwide mass organization of Filipino youth, however pointed out that not once, in their experience, have such consultations prevented the increases in tuition fees.
In fact, Orendain said, such consultations are usually “staged” to the effect that students are practically rendered powerless in the face of such exercise.
Orendain said they are dismayed as CHED is supposed to be “a regulatory body to control school fees,” but the agency instead, “has become an instrument in the launching of such staged consultations for tuition hikes in campuses.”
“The CHED is practically useless in terms of protecting students from high costs of education,” Orendain said.
A first year student of the University of the Philippines –Mindanao for instance, pays P600 per unit, so if a student enrolls in 20 units of courses, he pays at least P16,000 pesos per semester, Orendain said.
A Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education student of the University of Mindanao pays P394 per unit, so he pays P7,900 for 23 units, on top of the almost P7,000 cost of miscellaneous fees, she added.
A student of Ateneo de Davao University pays P900 per unit, so 20 unit enrollment would entail a cost of P18,000 per semester, exclusive of miscellaneous fees.
Orendain said they expect many students to drop out next school year. “The costs of basic goods are already increasing. How can we expect our parents to be able to send us to school with such expected round of increases?”
Orendain said their group is set to conduct massive consultations with students from colleges and universities to discuss how they can oppose the increases. “Expect massive protests from students,” Orendain warned. (Irene V. Dagudog, davaotoday.com)