Student Manifesto of Unity


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Full Refund of Illegal Tuition and Other Fee Increases

We, students and youth from different private and public colleges and universities in the country, demand a full refund of all illegal tuition and other fee increases imposed on us for this school year due to the recently-implemented Commission on Higher Education Memorandum Order No. 14 (CHED Memo Order 14).>

CHED Memo Order 14 did not put a stop but in contrast legitimized tuition and other fee increases for the present academic year. CHED Memo Order 14 stipulates that school administrators need not undergo the process of democratic consultations provided that proposed tuition and other fee increases are below the prevalent inflation rate (7.6 percent).

This year, 395 schools increased tuition and miscellaneous fees comprising of almost a quarter of the number of tertiary school in the country. These increases are illegal. No democratic consultations were held in most of these schools.

This is a clear violation of Republic Act 6728 which states that, “In any proposed increase in the rate of tuition fee, there shall be appropriate consultations conducted by the school administration with the duly organized parents and teachers associations and faculty associations with respect to secondary schools, and with student governments or councils, alumni and faculty associations with respect to colleges.” (Section 10)

CHED Memo Order 14 has also recently been declared illegal by the Congress Committee on Technical and Higher Education based on the abovementioned violation.

As a clear exploitation of guidelines provided by CHED Memo Order 14, school administrators were free to increase tuition and other school fees, without the benefit of consultations, for as long as these are below the inflation rate.

While a number of schools conducted which increased tuition and other fees above the inflation rate conducted consultations, we maintain that these increases are still illegal. Any tuition and other fee increases should undergo democratic consultations, regardless of any ceiling rate provided maliciously by the CHED.

We, therefore, demand that there should be a full refund of all illegal tuition and other fee increases imposed on students for this academic year. Every single peso counts for students who have to cope with skyrocketing prices of school needs and daily expenses. These illegally-imposed fee increases should be given back immediately to students.

We further call that CHED Memo Order 14 be scrapped, and that democratic consultations be held. We demand a freeze to all tuition and other fee increases until the CHED, with approproate consulations with the students, drafts a policy which genuinely regulates such.

We also enjoin our legislators to review and amend the Education Act of 1982 (BP 232) and the RA 6728 which lay the bases for a pro-student Philippine educational system.

Finally, we unite in asserting every Filipino youth’s right to quality and accessible education. ###