25 Lawmakers Want UP Tuition Hike Probed, Halted

Even in the Diliman main campus, he said that there were cases of zero enrolment in some courses in the College of Arts and Letters (CAL) and as much as 50 percent below turn-out of freshmen enrollees in courses like Bachelor in Music and Bachelor in Fine Arts. Even popular courses, he said, like BS Business Administration and BS Business Administration and Accountancy have registered low turn-out rates of 44 percent and 54 percent, respectively.

Casiño also aimed to investigate the UP administration for allegedly not showing “transparency in providing its stakeholders, particularly the Student Regent, student councils, campus journalists and even Congress with the relevant data on the impact of the tuition and other fee increases.”

He said that parents and students are still puzzled on the rationale and process that led to the approval of the tuition increase. “We maintain that UP, as a state university, must maintain its educational standards that are accessible to bright students, regardless of their economic status.”

HR 245 also called for corrective measures, particularly a halt to the implementation of the tuition increase, while the congressional inquiry is ongoing.

More tuition increases

Aside from UP, there were also other schools which have also increased tuition and other fees.

Alvin Peters, National Union of Students in the Philippines secretary-general said that Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST) increased tuition by 566 percent and the University of Northern Philippines in Vigan, Ilocos Sur which increased tuition from P75 to P100 ($1.66 to $2.21) per unit. Peters also recounted a Board of Regents’ proposal to increase tuition at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) from the existing P12 ($0.26) per unit to P100 ($2.21) per unit which was preempted by massive student protests.

“The trend of tuition and other fee increases in SUCs is an aggressive implementation of existing government policies on education,” he said. “What is therefore alarming is how the trend which has been set by the premier state university is becoming more pronounced as it becomes implemented in other SUCs around the country.”

He urged the Congress to reexamine and review existing education government policies such as the Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997 (Republic Act No. 8292), which allows governing boards of SUCs to increase tuition and other fees and enter into joint ventures with private corporations, and the Long Term Higher Education Development Plan 2001-2010, which he said essentially aims to lessen the state’s obligation to subsidize SUCs because these, in the end, “dictate the stepped up trend of commercialization of public higher education and spell the doom for the youth’s access to a college diploma.” (Bulatlat.com)

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