Stop tuition hike, groups ask SC
MANILA, Philippines - Youth groups led by the Kabataan party list asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday, May 29 to stop the implementation of tuition increase in 354 tertiary schools all over the country.
The groups said the bases for the increase - Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum Order No. 3 series of 2012 and Sec. 42 of Batas Pambansa No. 232 - are unconstitutional as “both law and regulation do not constitute reasonable regulation and supervision of all educational institutions as required by the 1987 Constitution.”
They added that these should also be nullified because they are not subjected to "reasonable regulation and supervision,” as stated in Article XIV Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution.
In an en banc meeting on Monday, May 27, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) approved 354 petitions for increases in tuition and other school fees, or 78% of the total number of applicants.
The average tuition hike per unit approved by CHED is P37.45 or 8.5%.
CHED received more applications this year, according to its chairperson Patricia Licuanan. Only 222 colleges and universities raised their fees during the previous school year.
“For years, unsound tuition policies have transmogrified higher education into its current deregulated nature, and it will only continue if we don’t strike down the laws and regulations that allow such,” Kabataan partylist counsel Terry Ridon said.
“Policies that merely serve as a stamp pad for approving hikes and are powerless in controlling the actual tuition rate in the country are unconstitutional and should therefore be expunged, with tuition hikes approved using the said policies rendered illegal.”
They also asked the SC to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the schools - which include Ateneo de Manila University, University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle University - from implementing tuition increases pending the resolution of the case.
The tuition hike for the 354 schools ranged from 5% to 400%, with amounts ranging from P5 to P125 per unit. Miscellaneous fees, on the other hand, were raised from one percent to 559%, with equivalent amount going as high as P6,494.
The issue of rising educational costs hit the national headlines in March following the death of UP-Manila student Kristel Tejada. Tejada, 16, committed suicide, and one of the reasons being linked to her death is her failure to settle her student loans worth P6,377.
Most colleges and universities in the country will open next week. - Rappler.com