Lawmakers propose measures to ease high tuition burden

Published by rudy Date posted on May 17, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – Lawmakers suggested yesterday various measures to lessen the burden of families hit by increased tuition and other fees in schools.

San Juan City Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito and Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan appealed to educational institutions to defer increases in their fees following the recent announcement of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) that 282 private colleges and universities are set to hike tuition fees this coming school year.

“Private institutions should keep in mind the ongoing and simultaneous price increase of basic commodities,” Ejercito said.

“Additional education costs will not only torture parents who work all out just to let their children study in good universities and colleges, it may also shatter the students’ dreams who may not be able to enroll this coming school year due to lack of funds to cushion the increase,” he said.

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the House committee on higher education, said he expects enrollment in state universities and colleges (SUCs) to increase since their tuition has not increased and remains affordable “although their quality may vary greatly across the country.”

He said the government would be wise to use any windfall collected from increased value-added tax collections because of higher oil prices.

He said any savings from the government’s deficit reduction programs should be invested in SUCs.

“The CHED said that eight out of 10 high school graduates could also not afford college, so perhaps the government can also set aside a bit more for scholarships for indigents not just for college but also for vocational courses,” Angara said.

ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio said the government should also increase the daily wages of workers in the public and private sectors.

Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna, meantime, appealed to sellers of textbooks and school supplies to hold price increases to ease the burden of families. –-Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) with Helen Flores

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