No To Tuition and Other Fee Hike! Impose A Genuine Tuition Moratorium

PRESS RELEASE: Feb 17, 2009
Students demand "genuine" tuition moratorium


NUSP calls CHED appeal to private schools "useless" regulatory measure



The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) led youth and student groups in calling for a categorical tuition and school fee moratorium, saying that the recent memorandum by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is 'toothless' and would have no effect whatsoever on decisions by schools to raise their fees, in a picket rally outside the CHED main office today.



NUSP president Alvin Peters said that CHED's memorandum could only be considered an "appeal" to schools not to increase tuition and other fees in light of the crisis.



"As long as the deregulated environment of tuition persists, there can be no guarantee that any CHED memo will have the political will behind it to enforce genuine regulation of charges that schools impose on students," said Peters.



"At the end of the day, CHED should be able to enforce its regulatory powers over schools and not merely be reduced to "appealing" to schools to observe its policies."



Peters cited an NUSP study of tuition and other fee rates for the past 8 years, saying that since 2001, the national average tuition rate per unit increased by 69.81 percent. Meanwhile, the national capital region average tuition rate increased by 118.53 percent.



Last school year, 372 private colleges and universities have increased their tuition at an average of 36.75 pesos per unit. In the National Capital Region (NCR) where most universities and colleges are located, the rate per unit is pegged at 855.20 pesos, increasing 10.83 percent from last year.



"Meanwhile, according to National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), the participation rate of school-age children is constantly declining. The participation rate at the elementary level, or the percentage of children aged 7-15, enrolled in primary schools dropped to 83 percent in school year 2006-2007 from 96.95 percent in 2000. Also, the percentage of children aged 13-16 enrolled in high schools has fallen from 65.43% in SY1999-2000 to 58.59 percent in SY2006-2007," said Peters.



In the light of the continuing day-to-day economic problems that the average Filipino family experiences—the skyrocketing prices of the daily commodities while the wages of workers remain low; the tuition and other fee increases will be another burden to the Filipino people.



Peters warned that if tuition and miscellaneous fees continue to soar unchecked, more students would be forced to drop out of school.###

PRESS RELEASE:
CHED lambasted for "spineless" memorandum on tuition hike freeze

Students to CHED: appeal to schools NOT ENOUGH!



Student leaders from the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) together with Kabataang Pinoy and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) lambasted the Commission on Higher Education for its "spineless" memorandum appealing to higher education institutions (HEIs) not to increase tuition and other fees for the coming school year, saying the memo was essentially useless for students and parents facing the economic crisis.



With the subject, "Appeal to HEIs to implement a "NO TUITION FEE INCREASE POLICY" for school year 2009-10, the memorandum from CHED chairman Emmanuel Angeles cited the "requests of various groups, parents and students" and "the current economic condition of our country and the intensifying global crisis" in "seeking support of [HEIs] by implementing a 'NO TUITION AND OTHER FEE INCREASE' policy for SY 2009-2010."



"The memo is merely a publicity gimmick by CHED to convey the idea that CHED is doing its part in protecting the right to education of thousands of students and their parents who are facing an increasingly difficulty economic crisis," said NUSP national president Alvin Peters.



For his part, NUSP vice president Einstein Recedes belied claims that schools would not be increasing tuition and other fees, saying that the NUSP-initiated Tuition Monitor had been able to gather as many a dozen schools which were preparing to hike their fees.



"As early as January, our hotline has been receiving a lot of complaints from our member student councils in Metro Manila and in other regions with indications that their respective school administration had scheduled tuition consultations for the month of February," said Recedes.



Among schools that Tuition Monitor reported as scheduling consultations for their proposed increases are the University of the East in Manila and Caloocan, Technological Institute of the Philippines, Philippines School of Business Administration, Lyceum of the Philippines University. Also expecting a tuition hike is the Ateneo de Davao University in Davao City.



Recedes revealed that they had reports that even CHED memorandum no. 13, CHED's existing guidelinea for tuition increases was violated repeatedly by several schools with some schools not issuing notification about proposed fee increases, the lack even of consultations and lack of transparency in general.



The NUSP challenged CHED chairman Angeles to implement a genuine moratorium and not rely on a simple appeal.

"At the end of the day, CHED should be able to enforce its regulatory powers over schools and not merely be reduced to "appealing" to schools to observe its policies," said Peters.



Peters cited an NUSP study of tuition and other fee rates for the past 8 years, saying that since 2001, the national average tuition rate per unit increased by 69.81 percent. Meanwhile, the national capital region average tuition rate increased by 118.53 percent.



Last school year, 372 private colleges and universities have increased their tuition at an average of 36.75 pesos per unit. In the National Capital Region (NCR) where most universities and colleges are located, the rate per unit is pegged at 855.20 pesos, increasing 10.83 percent from last year.



In the light of the continuing day-to-day economic problems that the average Filipino family experiences—the skyrocketing prices of the daily commodities while the wages of workers remain low; the tuition and other fee increases will be another burden to the Filipino people.



Peters warned that if tuition and miscellaneous fees continued to soar unchecked, more students would be forced to drop out of school, citing a study by the National Stastical Coordination Board which confirmed the declining cohort survival rate in schools. ###


PRESS RELEASE: Feb. 19, 2009
Students slam CHED existing tuition consultation guidelines

Schools can raise fees without ever consulting students - NUSP



In a statement today, the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) slammed the Commission on Higher Education's (CHED) existing guidelines for higher education institutions (HEIs) intending to increase tuition and other fees, saying CHED's Memorandum No. 13 is "useless" in even ensuring that students and parents are duly consulted regarding proposed miscellaneous fee increases.



NUSP executive vice president Einstein Recedes said that the CMO No. 13 is a veritable "rubber stamp" for schools to increase tuition and other fees.



Recedes pointed to the fact that CMO No. 13 was re-implemented as the guidelines for tuition increases after Malacañang had ordered the lifting of a tuition cap and thereby suspending CHED Memo No. 14, during the same period of tuition consultations two years ago.



No consultation needed for miscellaneous fees

"The difference between CMO No. 13 and CMO No. 14 which at the time was in effect is that the antiquated CMO 13 does not provide for consultation with students of miscellaneous fee increases and new fees," said Recedes.



"By reverting to the antiquated and much-reviled CMO No. 13, CHED had effectively ensured that exorbitant fees such as development fee, energy fee, cultural fee and the like could be imposed on students even without consulting the students."



Slack implementation of tuition increase guidelines

Recedes said that while students have tried to maximize CHED's guidelines despite its "obvious flaws," many schools continue to violate basic provisions of CMO 13.



"Despite the CHED memo, we have documented several schools that do not even hold consultations with the student council before they implement tuition increases," said Recedes.



Recedes called on CHED to investigate and to penalize schools which violated the guidelines.



"If all CHED can come up with to mitigate the issue of soaring tuition fee rates is a flawed and ultimately useless guidelines, the least it could do is to ensure that such guidelines is effectively implemented," said Recedes.



"It is quite clear that existing CHED policies favor the interests of private school owners to make profit at the expense of students and no such policy is in effect to stop or even regulate the skyrocketting fees in schools," said Recedes.



The NUSP challenged the CHED to impose a genuine moratorium on tuition and other fee increases especially in light of the economic crisis. ###


PRESS RELEASE: Feb. 26, 2009
Students to Congress: Enact tuition moratorium bill, Repeal Education Act of 1982

NUSP challenges House leadership to act on tuition moratorium

In a kapihan press conference of the House of Representatives, the largest alliance of student councils and governments in the country called on House Speaker Prospero Nograles to enact House Bill 2440, filed by Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño, which imposes a 3-year moratorium on tuition and other fee increases in all educational institutions. The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) also urged Congress to review Batas Pambansa 232 or the Education Act of 1982, the law which legitimized the deregulated environment of education.


NUSP national president Alvin Peters said that it was high time for the country's legislators to review existing government policies which have led to the soaring cost of education and as a direct result, the rising number of out-of-school-youth.


“There is an urgent need for a comprehensive review of existing government policies on education if we are to address the roots of the crisis of Philippine education and implement concrete policy reforms,” said Peters.


Peters blamed Education Act of 1982 for incessant hikes in tuition and other fees as “it gives school owners limitless powers to determine their own tuition rate.”


He also called on lawmakers to investigate and recommend the filing of charges against schools which are allegedly profiting from exorbitant fees. Schools frequently included in the top 5,000 corporations in the country are Centro Escolar University (CEU), Far Eastern University (FEU), Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT), University of the East (UE), AMA Computer University and STI Colleges .

Peters said that, while the NUSP was aware that many congressmen themselves are school owners and keenly protective of school owners' interests, they nonetheless appealed that these legislators would inhibit themselves from the proceedings which would determine the enacting of the tuition moratorium. “We hope that they put the interests of the greater majority first in this instance,” said Peters.


Peters cited an NUSP study which revealed that since 2001, the national average tuition rate per unit has increased by 69.81 percent. Meanwhile, the national capital region average tuition rate has increased by 118.53 percent.


Peters announced that they would hold a nationally coordinated action this February 27 to voice their calls in key cities around the country. “We warn all potential candidates for the 2010 elections that this is an issue that they and the positions that is critical if they are to gain the youth's vote,” said Peters. ###



PRESS RELEASE: Feb. 23, 2009
NUSP: School fee hikes not improving education quality, for huge profits instead
Students announce National Protests vs. tuition increases on Feb. 27

In a press conference today, student leaders from the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) said that contrary to schools' claims that school fee increases are needed to improve the quality of education, the deregulated environment of Philippine education has only served to fuel schools' profiteering.

NUSP executive vice president Einstein Recedes said that many schools have been "profiting for decades" from exorbitant and some "absurd" school fees such as development fee, energy fee, comelec fee, copier fee, accreditation fee and cultural fee.

Recedes said that the deregulated environment of education has allowed for the existence of profit-making schools which have "repeatedly failed to provide quality education." Recedes cited miserable passing rates in board exams other gauges of education quality showing a decline in Philippine education in the past two decades.

"Many schools, already allowed to collect a gamut of school fees and charges have merely been emboldened by CHED's guidelines on tuition increases since CHED Memo 13 doesn't even require the school to consult proposed miscellaneous fee increases and new fees with students," said Recedes.

Recedes pointed to various "profit-making schemes" that were designed by schools to circumvent possible regulation by the CHED. "Schools are implementing such schemes as the ladderized tuition and other fees and the carry-over scheme which assumes a different rate of tuition for the different year levels."

For his part, NUSP national president Alvin Peters urged lawmakers to review Batas Pambansa 232 or the Education Act of 1982, which Peters said is the behind incessant hikes in tuition and other fees as it gives school owners limitless powers to determine their own tuition rate.

He also called on lawmakers to investigate and recommend the filing of charges against schools which are allegedly profiting from exorbitant fees. Schools frequently included in the top 5,000 corporations in the country are Centro Escolar University (CEU), Far Eastern University (FEU), Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT), University of the East (UE), AMA Computer University and STI Colleges.

"There is an urgent need for a comprehensive review of existing government policies on education if we are to address the roots of the problem and implement concrete policy reforms," said Peters.

Peters announced that they would hold a nationally coordinated action this February 27 to voice their calls in key cities around the country. "We are urging the government to heed the call for a tuition and other fee increase moratorium immediately and the repeal of Education Act of 1982," said Peters. ###

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