By Dona Z. Pazzibugan
About 300 private colleges and universities out of the 1,700 private higher education institutions (HEIs) in the country are expected to increase their tuition and other fees this school year.
This is considerably less than the 354 tertiary schools that were allowed in 2013 by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to raise their fees.
CHEd officials said they do not expect any of the 223 state colleges and universities to raise their tuition.
As of Tuesday, CHEd has approved the fees increase application of 171 private colleges and universities and turned down the application of 190 others that failed to support their planned increase.
The number will go up when CHEd releases its decision on the application of 74 private colleges and universities in Metro Manila (National Capital Region), 46 in Calabarzon (Region 4A); nine in Cagayan Valley (Region 2) and 12 in SOCCSKSARGEN (Region 12).
No data was given for private colleges and universities in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The approved tuition hike so far ranged from 15 per cent to 4 per cent, or an average at 9 per cent.
Meanwhile the approved increase in other school fees ranged from 26 per cent to 6 per cent, or an average of 14 per cent.
None of the 81 private colleges and universities in Eastern Visayas (Region 8), which suffered the most from Super Typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) last November will increase their fees, according to CHEd.
In Central Visayas (Region 7, which was struck by a powerful earthquake in October before killer typhoon Yolanda slammed in November, 13 private tertiary schools were allowed to increase their fees.
In Western Visayas (Region 6) which also felt Yolanda’s destruction, 25 private tertiary schools were allowed to raise their fees.
Meanwhile among private elementary and high schools, at least 1,299 schools in 13 regions were allowed by the Department of Education to proceed with their planned tuition increase.
This includes at least 322 private elementary and high schools in the Yolanda-battered Visayas region.
Based on partial data as of last week, DepEd disallowed the planned fee increase in 178 other schools that failed to complete their documentary requirements.
Unlike in the tertiary school sector, more private elementary and high schools will raise their tuition this school year. Last year, 1,199 private schools were allowed to do so.
DepEd has not yet released reports from Central Visayas (Region 7), the Davao region (Region 11), the Cordillera Administrative Region and the ARMM. (Philippine Daily Inquirer)