By Bernadette E. Tamayo | The Manila Times
FORMER senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. urged the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to defer the tuition increase it recently approved for 56 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) amid the pandemic.
Marcos and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio appealed to CHEd to defer the planned tuition hikes for Academic Year 2021-2022.
The UniTeam on Wednesday said that suspending the looming tuition increase "would negatively impact the financial situation of many Filipino families."
The tandem was reacting to a CHEd memorandum dated Dec. 6, 2021, stating that 56 private HEIs were allowed to increase their tuition and other school fees.
"We are appealing to CHEd to consider suspending the scheduled increase. There are still a lot of families struggling even at this juncture of the pandemic," Marcos said.
He said that allowing the hike in tuition and miscellaneous fees will be an added burden on families whose finances have not yet fully recovered.
"This may even lead them to stop sending their kids to school altogether," the presidential candidate said in a statement.
CHEd Chairman Prospero de Vera 3rd said the approval for the increase was in line with the agency's guidelines on the recalibration of miscellaneous and other school fees.
The list was also based on the report of 15 CHEd regional offices and a commission en banc resolution dated Nov. 9, 2021.
"We understand that private education institutions also need to generate revenues to sustain their operation," the UniTeam said. "However, we still need to consider the capacity of a student's family to pay the added fees. Let's consider the situation of those who are hard-pressed due to the pandemic."
The CHEd's list showed that 14 HEIs in the National Capital Region were among those given the go-signal to increase their tuition and other school fees.
A breakdown of the CHEd list showed that the other HEIs allowed to hike their tuition are in Region 1, eight HEIs; Region 3, seven; Region 4, three; Regions 5, five; Region 6, four; Region 7, one; Region 9, one; Region 10, nine; Region 11, three; and Cordillera Administrative Region, one.