Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Dr. Emmanuel Angeles assured that there will be no tuition increase in the Polytechnic University (PUP) of the Philippines and in other state universities and colleges (SUC) across the country.
“I assured that no tuition increase will be implemented in all SUCs. As chair of PUP Board of Regents I have also set a meeting on Monday [March 29] to formalize the junking of the proposed tuition increase in PUP,” Angeles said in an interview on Thursday.
He added that two more SUCs, the Dr. Emilio B. Espinosa Sr. Memorial State College of Agriculture and Technology and Mindanao State University, will no longer push their proposed tuition increases in the meantime.
Angeles said that they will review thoroughly proposals by some 290 private higher education institutions (HEIs) that have indicated their intentions to increase tuition by an average of 10.19 percent.
He added that the deferment of the proposed tuition increase among SUCs will be in effect for the rest of the school year.
The CHED chairman said that the proposed hike among HEIs should not go beyond 10 percent of the current rate of their tuitions. Most of the HEIs that filed their intention to increase tuition are in located in the National Capital Region.
Meanwhile, Angeles urged students and youth groups that staged violent protest actions in the CHED main office in the University of the Philippines (UP) campus in Quezon City and in PUP to bring their fight to Congress.
He deplored what he described as the “unfortunate” behavior of the students who staged protest actions for several days at the PUP campus, UP in Diliman and even at the Commission’s office.
“It is very unfortunate what had happened yesterday [Wednesday] the behavior of the young. Although we are a democracy, there are still laws to be followed. Maybe there should be much more responsible behavior here,” Angeles said.
“Their intention is good but their violent action only resulted to damaging the properties of colleges and universities,” he said adding student protesters who damaged school properties should be held liable for their actions.
He said Wednesday’s protest at the CHED office caused close to P500,000 in damages to property.
At the PUP, students burned chairs and tables while barricading the school gate. At UP, protesters lobbed paintball on a university official on the way to attend a meeting of the Board of Regents.
Angeles said the proper venue for the mass actions is before Congress since lawmakers are the ones who hold the power of the purse.
But he said that the CHED will always ensure that maximum tolerance will be observed when school authorities deal with protesters. –James Konstantin Galvez, Manila Times