By Ina Hernando-Malipot
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has announced that a total of 354 higher education institutions (HEIs) have been approved to increase tuition for this coming school year.
According to CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan, out of the 1,683 private HEIs, 451 or 27 percent applied for tuition and other school fees increase this year. Of them, 354 or 21% have been approved by CHED.
During the 413th Regular Commission En Banc Meeting, Licuanan released the approved the final figures which was verified and presented by the Office of Student Services after a month of careful scrutiny of the submissions. “The final figures based on consolidated reports of the 16 CHED Regional Offices excluding ARMM,” she explained.
In the official data released by CHED, regions National Capital Region (NCR), IV-A and III have the most number of HEIs with 308, 230 and 202 respectively. “Out of the 95 HEIs that applied for tuition increase in NCR, 72 have been given the go signal, while IV-A and III with 64 and 55 applications had 52 and 37 approvals respectively,” she explained.
Licuanan said that the average tuition fee increase per unit for school year 2013-2014 is PhP37.45 or 8.5% nationwide. “This is the lowest percentage increase in the past ten years,” she stressed. Increase in the three largest regions, were as follows: NCR had a per unit tuition fee increase of PhP64.04 or 6.79 %, IV-A, PhP48.81 or 7.86 % and III, PhP44.48 or 8.86 %. The highest increases were in regions II, PhP31.26 or 12.25 %, V, PhP44.77 or 11.83 % and I, PhP34.10 or 11.12 %. The average increase in other school fees nationwide is PhP194.62 or 7.58 %.
The Section 42 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 232 or the Education Act of 1982 stipulates that “Each private school shall determine its rate of tuition and other school fees or charges… subject to rules and regulations promulgated by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports” (now DEPED, TESDA and CHED). The other legal provisions designed to regulate tuition and other fees lie in RA 6728 or the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Act and regulations such as CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) 13, s. 1998 and CMO 3, s. 2012, which require HEIs, for every incremental tuition increase, to allocate 70 per cent of the increase for the payment of salaries, wages, allowances and other benefits of teaching and non-teaching personnel; 20 % for the improvement and/or acquisition of facilities, or modernization of buildings, equipment, libraries, laboratories and other similar facilities and the payment of other costs of operation; and 10 % for the return on investment for the HEIs if they are stock corporations, otherwise, the remainder is to be utilized for the operations of the HEI.
Licuanan said that the 1987 Constitution also recognizes the complementary roles of public and private sectors and the need to provide quality education and access of students to this. “CHED’s approach to the issue of tuition is wholistic,” she said. “In light of contending concerns and interests in society, there is a need to balance access issues with sustainability of educational institutions,” she added.
CHED, Licuanan said, will ensure that HEIs meet the guidelines provided by law, “especially the requirement of consultation, the allocation of tuition fees, and the strict adherence with the processes that seek to make tuition fee increases transparent, reasonable and affordable.”
On April 5, 2013, a resolution was passed by the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) approving a moratorium on undergraduate tuition and miscellaneous fee increases in all public HEIs.