CHED’s Licuanan slammed for being ‘anti-student, anti-poor’

Jan. 19, 2017

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The National Union of Students of the Philippines hit out Commission on Higher Education Chairperson Patricia Licuanan as “anti-student and anti-poor” on her remark regarding the new policy of free tuition in state universities and colleges.

“The position taken up by Licuanan and CHED is blatantly anti-student and anti-poor. Licuanan and her ilk need to understand that education is a universal right. There should be no conditions when it comes to providing free public education,” NUSP National Spokesperson Mark Vincent Lim said in a statement Thursday.

Licuanan’s remark was referring to the P8.3 billion fund that has been set aside to finance the tuition of students in the country’s 114 SUCs.

Licuanan pointed out that CHED would rather focus on helping the poorest of the poor rather than offering free tuition to all students.

“The poorest of the poor are not yet in college. They have been knocked out long ago and enrollment of the poorest quintile in higher education is only eight percent. So, it’s not going to benefit the poor,” Licuanan as quoted saying in an interview last Monday.

But NUSP argued that the new tuition-free policy in SUCs is only the first step in the campaign for free public education in all levels.

“It is also ironic for CHED to claim that they would rather focus on the poorest segments of society when it has continuously perpetuated anti-poor policies like unyielding tuition increases, impositions of other school fees, and the implementation of socialized tuition scams.” Lim pointed out.

He continued, “many of the Filipino youth do not attend college precisely because it is so expensive. The exorbitant tuition rates are part of this problem.”

The NUSP called on all student councils, as well as other progressive youth and student organizations, to denounce Licuanan’s statements.

“With policies like these, CHED has allowed tertiary education to become a lucrative business in the country. Is it so surprising that many Filipinos cannot afford to go to college?” Lim asked. (

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