By ARTHUR L. ALLAD-IW
BAGUIO CITY — At least six tertiary educational institutions in the Cordillera will increase tuition and other school fees come school year 2012 – 2012.
The average increases range from three to 10 percent in tuition fees but much higher for the miscellaneous fees, according to data from the regional office of the Commission on Higher Education.
The schools that would increase an average of 10 percent in tution fees are the Divine World College of Bangued which plans to increase its per unit by P 23.9 from its present tuition fee per unit of P250.02; University of Baguio will impose P55.34 per unit from its P53.54 per unit; and Kings College of the Philippines which will impose P20 more per unit from its P 201 per unit.
The university of the Cordilleras will impose an average eight percent or P 40.25 per unit more on its P408.03 per unit. UC is actually imposing 10 percent increase for its new students and five percent for its old students which makes the average eight percent.
Saint Louis University will impose an average increase of five percent or P 22.79 per unit added to its present tuition of P 455.875 per unit.
The Cordillera Career Development College will impose an average of three percent per unit or the equivalent amount of P13 from its 425 per unit in tuition fee.
Cordillera tertiary schools, allegedly, had been using the regional inflation rate as their basis in increasing their tuition fees.
Meanwhile, the Kabataan Party List said that as of April 26, the Commission on Higher Education recently approved applications for higher tuition rates for at least 222 private colleges and universities nationwide.
Out of 2,181 private higher education institutions in the country, CHEd approved an average of 10 percent or P41.52 increase in tuition for these private schools.
And with such tuition and other school fees increases, Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond Palatino called on the government to immediately act on demands to substantially increase workers’ wages.
“With the government increasing once more the already burdensome cost of education through its easy approval of tuition hike petitions, calls for a substantial pay hike should be given paramount consideration in order for workers to continue sending their children to school and to be able to cope with the grueling demands of every living,” he said. no.
He pointed out that while the additional P125 that the workers have been demanding remains insufficient to address families’ basic needs, the amount could at very least help them cope with the onslaught of tuition hikes and price increases that have unfortunately become a regular feature in the administration of Noynoy Aquino.
Kabataan cited data from CHEd where the national average tuition per unit for academic year 2012-2013 will increase by P41.52, to P475.47 per unit from the current P433.95 average per unit.
“The figures clearly indicate that the average cost of tuition is even higher than the current P424 minimum wage. The yearly tuition hikes are forcing minimum wage earners and low income families to make education less of a priority,” added Palatino. .
The National Wages and Productivity Commission estimates that a family of six needs roughly P957 per day for basic expenses alone. “With the glaring difference between the amount needed to send a family member to school and the wages that workers receive, going to school becomes a privilege enjoyed only by those who can afford it,” he said.
In press reports, CHEd Chairperson Patricia Licuanan defended the new spate of tuition hikes, saying that private colleges are “under pressure to increase tuition because of increasing costs at a difficult time.” The party-list lawmaker, however, said “it is infuriating how the increasing costs of commodities and services are being used to justify the quick approval of these ridiculous tuition hikes while on the other hand, the same justification aren’t enough for the government to act on petitions for substantial wage hikes.”
“It leads me to wonder if these bureaucrats are appointed in the correct offices. The restraint and rigidness exercised by wage boards in granting petitions for wage hikes are a far cry from the liberality and leniency displayed by our education agencies when succumbing to the demands of private educators,” he lamented.
In Congress, Palatino is pushing for the passage into law of his two tuition and other fee bills, namely HB no. 3708 or the “Three-year Tuition Moratorium Act” and HB no. 4286 or the “Tuition and Other Fees Regulation Act.”
“A tuition moratorium, more than providing a pause for thought to regulate tuition increase will provide immediate economic relief to students and parents especially in the context of the unabated price increases and the unjust imposition of fee increases in schools,” Palatino said. # nordis.net