March 20, 2010
Youth organizations led by Kabataan Partylist today challenged presidential aspirants to take a stand against the impending 2,000 percent tuition increase in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP).
There is a pending proposal to increase PUP tuition from P12 per unit to P200 per unit. The proposed increase is scheduled to be discussed in the PUP Board of Regents meeting on March 29.
If approved, the increase will take effect next semester when classes open and is expected to affect an estimated 66,000 incoming freshmen in the university.
According to Vencer Crisostomo, Kabataan Partylist Secretary General, the tuition increase in PUP will affect mostly students from poor families who are hoping to uplift their condition by acquiring affordable college education.
“This is a very important national issue that should be addressed by presidentiables this election period. Those who promise to advocate better access to education, a better future for our youth, (and those) who declare that they want to help the poor should make a categorical stand against the proposed tuition hike in PUP and other state universities,” said Crisostomo.
Crisostomo said that a clear platform against unjust tuition increases and for affordable and accessible education is expected of every presidential aspirant as the Constitution mandates.
“The next president must increase the budgetary allocation and state spending for education and should stop unjust tuition increases. Kung hindi, ibabasura din sila ng mamamayan gaya ng mga bulok na armchairs (If they fail to do so, they will be trashed like what the students did to the armchairs),” said Crisostomo.
Crisostomo said to expect youth protests across the country against tuition hikes next week.
“The PUP protest inspired students from other colleges and universities nationwide to also hold protest actions against tuition and other fee increases in their respective schools.”
Two years ago, the University of the Philippines (UP) also increased their tuition from P300 unit to P1000 per unit.
Meanwhile, 61 other schools in Luzon and Visayas will increase tuition to up to 20 percent by next semester according to data gathered by the National Union of Students of the Philippines and Kabataan Partylist.
“We are also enjoining parents and incoming PUP students to join the protests.” Enrollment in PUP starts on the second week of April.
Vencer Crisostomo, Secretary General
Gerg Anrol Cahiles, Media Officer