Reject tuition hikes, Commission on Higher Education urged

BAGUIO CITY — The National Union of Students of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet chapter (NUSP-BB) called on the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to seriously consider not allowing increases in tuition and other fees.

NUSP spokeswoman Cielo Marie Bayson said CHEd should not act as mere arbiters between students and schools.

“Right now, students need to be protected from moneymaking schemes that certain profit-oriented schools are creating. CHEd is in the perfect position to do just that by not allowing schools to raise fees; it is time this agency does its job,” she said.

For school year 2012-2013, the University of the Cordilleras proposed 5% to10% increase in tuition, Divine Word College of Abra proposed 25%, King’s College of the Philippines 10% and Saint Louis University 5% to 10% miscellaneous fee increase to be implemented on the incoming first years.

This is in addition to the proposal of the Cordillera Administrative Region Association of State Universities and Colleges (CARASUC) to impose an increase of 300 percent on tuition at all state universities and colleges in the region.

“Although there have been yearly complaints and reports about dubious fee increases and questionable consultations, no school has ever been punished for it. CHEd has been letting anomalous tuition increase applications just slide.” Bayson said.

The NUSP, through its Tuition Monitor (TM) project, cited numerous experiences in the past like the Baguio Central University where the consultation processes were deemed “questionable” by the students. Students have also questioned the necessity of increases in schools such as the University of the Cordilleras and Saint Louis University where profits reached the P100 million mark.

We are now challenging CHEd to be more than just an observer in this situation. CHEd should go after these profiteering entities. It is time that schools learned their lesson; students will not be made into cash cows,” Bayson said.

The Union has initiated a Tuition Monitor (TM) desk in order to look into the increases in school fees for the incoming academic year and also to gather reports on sham consultations. The TM desk is where students/parents/concerned individuals can report fees increase, questionable charges, improper consultations, the absence of any consultation, and other related matters.

The TM desk aims to compile reports from across the nation to create a comprehensive complaint that will be used as the basis to call for the rejection of fees increase for academic year 2012-2013.

The NUSP has also initiated an alliance against tuition and other fees increase (ToFI). “In the coming days, people will see how students are coming up with ways to show their discontent and rejection of ToFI. They are also becoming more involved in studying the school’s finances and asserting their rights as stakeholders in the school,” said Bayson.

Bayson also said that CHEd should meet the students’ demands and finally crackdown on schools that violate the current tuition consultation guidelines. “CHEd can reject the request for tuition increase and, more than that, they should punish schools that break the consultation guidelines.”

Complaints and reports for the Tuition Monitor can be sent to , posted on the Facebook page (Save our Education in the Cordillera), or sent to 0906329459 or call call 4462106 to report incidents mentioned above.

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