42 NCR colleges and universities to refund tuition


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Youth groups organize refund monitoring committees

“Our efforts are finally bearing fruit,” thus said National Union of Students of the Philippines President Marco Delos Reyes in a report they released regarding their campaign for refund of illegal tuition increases.

According to Commission on Higher Education – NCR (CHED-NCR), 42 private higher educational institutions (PHEIs) in Metro Manila will start refunding their tuition increases charged to students this academic year. The Commission said that these schools have already accepted and agreed with the Commission en Banc (CEB) resolution on May 8, 2006 that will “disallow all applications for tuition increase for SY 2006-2007 that is beyond the National Inflation Rate of 7.6%.”

Last Monday, September 4, the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education (CHTE) and the Committee on Basic Education and Culture (CBEC) held its 5th Joint Meeting on Tuition Fees. Compelled with subpoena duces tecum and ad testificandum, all CHED regional directors attended the meeting and reported the number of schools that increased their tuition and miscellaneous fees.

“Based on that Joint Committee meeting, we estimate that around 140 schools nationwide have adhered to the CEB resolution to lower their tuition increase to 7.6%; however these schools only agreed in June or July when the semester already started. Hence, we have around 140 schools that should refund to students their tuition and miscellaneous increase,” said Delos Reyes. He added that NUSP, along with other national student organizations will organize monitoring committees for the implementation of the refund.

“It’s a one step victory for the students that our legislators and CHED have seen the need to put measures to halt the yearly steep increase in school fees. Although we are happy for the lowering of tuition increase to 7.6%, we are still pursuing our actions for the refund of all illegal tuition and other fee increases under CHED Memo 14,” explained Delos Reyes.

Students have long assailed CMO 14 as “unjust and unfair”, and they are now contemplating on filing a petition before the Supreme Court to nullify the memorandum as it violated RA 6728 that required consultations in any proposed increase in tuition fees. CHED, meanwhile, have issue Special Order 106 series of 2006 for the creation of a technical committee for the amendment of the CMO 14.

Meanwhile, students from Region 11 may have a good chance in getting back all the tuition increase charged to them this academic year. The CHTE caught CHEDRO 11 Director red-handed when he reported that they approved thirty-two (32) private schools that “served notice” for a 7.6% tuition increase. That CHED regional director was then put to heavy questioning on why he allowed the tuition increases even without the proper documents. “Even CMO 14 requires a number of documents to be submitted before they can implement those tuition increases,” responded Delos Reyes.

“We’ve already instructed our formation and members in Region 11 to demand for the full refund of the tuition increase in these 32 schools. At the same time, our regional formations are continuously gathering information and are preparing to lodge more complaints in the coming week,” said Delos Reyes. ###