Representatives of the women’s partylist group Gabriela today criticized as a mere public relations bid, Malacanang’s announcement for a moratorium in tuition increases. “It was conveniently late. This conspicuous timing betrays the announcement for a tuition hike moratorium for what it really is—a spin.”

Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Liza Largoza Maza explained most private universities and colleges have already hiked their fees as early as February and March of this year and that many colleges have already finished with their enrollment.

“Education Act of 1982 requires that consultations with parents and stakeholders be conducted during the first quarter of the year. This is usually done sometime in February. By March and April most colleges and universities have already announced the new tuition and school fee schemes. What’s the use of announcing a moratorium towards the end of May?” said Maza.

According to the Gabriela solons, the announcement was an attempt to cover-up the Commission on Higher Education’s failure to monitor and regulate tuition and miscellaneous fee increases. They noted that an 82.73% increase in the average tuition in private colleges and universities have been posted at the CHED from 2000 to 2007.

“CHED has admitted that at least 300 higher education institutions have already posted increases in tuition and miscellaneous fees for this coming school year. Last year, CHED approved tuition hike proposals of at least 370 colleges and universities,” said Ilagan.

Ilagan, who is herself, a teacher also said that there is also a need to scrutinize the increases that have been imposed in the past years as these may not have been allotted properly to teachers’ salaries and facility upgrades.

Reps. Ilagan and Maza have filed last year, HR 377, calling for an investigation on the CHED’s failure to regulate tuition and other school fee increases at the same time calling for a tuition increase moratorium pending the investigation. The resolution remains pending in the Committee on Higher Education. #


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