CEAP warns TRAIN 2 will ‘weaken’ private church-run schools

Aug. 23, 2018

DAVAO CITY , Philippines — The country’s association of Catholic-ran schools warned of the ill-effects of the second tranche of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law against church-run schools across the country, saying it would weaken the educational services offered by private sectarian schools.

“If the current version of TRAIN 2 bill is passed into law, this will further weaken Private higher education given the recent challenges posed by the implementation of other government reforms,” Joseph Noel Estrada, legal counsel of Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), said in an emailed statement on Thursday, Aug. 23.

Estrada said the government’s controversial tax reform measure now called as the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) will be imposing new challenges to private schools upon its implementation.

Among the challenges is the enrollment rate in the private Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) were only “at 50 percent from 2016 to 2021 as part of the K to 12 transition given the eight enrollment years lost in tertiary level.”

He also raised the massive migration of students from private HEI’s to public State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) because of the free tuition in state-owned universities and colleges as provided under Republic Act 10931 (Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act).

And if there’s an exodus of students, Estrada noted a significant migration of private school teachers to both Department of Education and SUCs because of competitive pay under the Salary Standardization Law.

“The unreasonable regulation of tuition and other school fees making Private higher education institutions unable to raise tuition significantly in order to raise salaries for faculty to compete with Public HEI’s, and improve on quality,” he said.

Estrada urged the government to find a way that “recognizes the complementary role of private education in the delivery of education in the country” while recognizing the necessity to raise taxes and rationalize tax exemptions to finance priority programs of government.

“The overall performance and contribution of the private education sector is comparable to that of the government or state schools,” he said.(davaotoday.com)

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