MANILA – Several youth and student organizations on Thursday started a protest in front of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to call for the elimination of “illegal school fees” and prevention of yearly tuition fees hikes in universities and colleges across the country.
The Rise for Education Alliance (R4E), College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), and National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) headed to the main office of CHED to demand against tuition and other school fees increases.
According to R4E national covenor and NUSP national president Sarah Jane Elago, the “other school fees” charged to students include development fee, energy fee, miscellaneous fee, athletics fee, cultural fee, examination fee, internet fee, late payment fee, and registration fee.
“These fees are not only expensive but additional burden to students and parents,” Elago protested.
She added, “Schools administrations pass the yoke of paying for maintenance, utilities, procurement of new equipment, and building new facilities to students by charging them with various questionable school fees.
Elago noted that most schools have different forms of fees that amount anywhere from P100 to P5,000 every semester.
CEGP national president Marc Lino Abila said, “It is enraging that despite the pressure of students on CHED to junk illegal school fees and stop tuition increase, the agency remains to be a stamp pad approving every increase not considering the dire situation of families who wish to send their children to college but are unable to do so because of the continued deregulation and commercialization of education in the country.”
He added, “The Aquino administration remains resolute in pursuing such neoliberal policies on education such as K-12, academic calendar shift and budget cuts. These worsen the already severe crisis of the education system in the Philippines. With deregulation and commercialization of our education system in full swing, it will be much harder for an ordinary laborer earning a minimum wage to send his child to school with the rising cost of tuition and other school fees.”