UST, UE, FEU lead 258 schools in fee increases

Published by rudy Date posted on March 2, 2009

AFTER 258 colleges and universities announced they would increase their tuition this coming school year, 143 private elementary and high schools are looking to increase their matriculation charges by as much as 15 percent, according to the Federation of Private Schools and Administrators.

“These schools should not be blamed for seeking an increase in tuition since they too are affected and should cope with the global economic crisis,” said the group’s president, Ely Kasilag.

Kasilag declined to identify which schools intended to increase their fees, but he said most of them must do so to finance teachers’ pay increases and the upgrading of school facilities.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus confirmed his department had received applications for tuition increases, saying those were for the salaries of teachers and employees.

He said the free-market mechanism continued to prevail among private schools, but the Education Department continued to hold talks with schools to remind them to keep tuition increases at reasonable levels, or within the traditional range of 3 to 6 percent, which was the average this school year.

The Education Department’s Metro Manila regional office also declined to identify which schools had asked for an increase, but said those would likely range from 2 to 20 percent. Moreover, most private schools in the metropolis, numbering 1,936, had not asked for an increase in tuition, regional director Teresita Domalanta said.

But department officials reminded schools that any request for a tuition increase should conform to rules stating that 70 percent of the increase should go to employees’ salaries and benefits, 20 percent to the upgrading of school facilities, and only 10 percent as return on investment, executive assistant director Flordeliza Magday said.

“The school’s application for tuition increase should also have purpose and justification for their request with a validity period of one school year only,” Magday said.

She said schools should also consult with their respective parents and teachers associations.

In a survey, only San Beda College, College of the Holy Spirit, and St. Theresa’s College in Quezon City have confirmed that they will be increasing their matriculation fees.

Among colleges and universities, student leaders at the Lyceum of the Philippines, University of the East, Far Eastern University, San Juan de Letran College, Philippine School of Business and Arts, San Beda College and University of Sto. Tomas have confirmed that their fees will increase by various amounts.

Meanwhile, Lapus said the Education Department had enhanced the implementation of the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education program, where the government would pay a subsidy of P5,000 to help students stay in private schools.

Lapus said the department had increase the fund to P3.5 billion from P3 billion, allowing them to provide the subsidy to more students in private schools.– Gigi Muñoz-David, Manila Standard Today

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