State schools collected over P13.5-B in ‘other school fees’ in just 4 years

November 28, 2014

Fees collected from public tertiary students doubled since Aquino assumed office

By Kabataan Partylist


OSFs rallies 
In a span of just four years, the country’s 110 state universities and colleges (SUCs) were able to collect a whopping P13.5 billion from “other school fees” (OSFs) or fees that students pay apart from tuition.


Based on data compiled from the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing 2012-2015, the nation’s 1.1 million public tertiary students have shelled out around P12,000 each in OSFs for the period spanning 2010 to 2013.


Examples of OSFs include development fees, registration fees, library fees, athletic fees, and late payment dues.


“The data itself is appalling. In a span of just four years, SUCs were able to collect fees that are enough to pave 1,000 kilometers of farm-to-market roads or construct around 3,000 health centers. And we need to point out that this is just data for collection of other school fees. Just think about how much more funds are taken from students through tuition,” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon said.


Government data also revealed that since President Benigno Aquino III assumed office in 2010, both tuition and other school fees collected from students of SUCs have steadily increased, with collection from fees apart from tuition doubling in just four years.


The total income of the country’s 110 SUCs from OSFs grew by almost 60 percent from P2.6 billion in 2010 to an eye-popping P4.1 billion in 2013. DBM even projects that collections from OSFs in state schools will reach up to P4.4 billion in 2015. This means that on a national average, each student enrolled in an SUC pays some P3,268 in OSFs annually.


Source: DBM Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing 2012-2015

Tuition collections have also steadily increased. In 2010, SUCs were able to collect a total of P5.3 billion in tuition. By 2013, this amount increased by P1.7 billion or 32 percent, to reach a staggering P7 billion. From 2010 to 2013, SUCs were able to collect a total of P24.7 billion in tuition fees.


All in all, the country’s public tertiary students shelled out a total of P38.3 billion in tuition and other school fees in the past four years.


“This staggering amount is testament to how expensive education has become even in our public universities and colleges. It is clear that the policy of deregulation is very much alive under the Aquino administration, with tuition and other fees doubling in the short period of his presidency,” Ridon said.


The case of UP: Sharp increase in OSFs starting 2013


In the case of the University of the Philippines System, data reveals a sharp increase in the collection of OSFs between 2012 and 2013.


In 2012, the total collection from OSFs in UP amounted to P24.6 million, increasing nominally from the P22.8 million OSFs collection in 2012.


However, by 2013, a sharp surge in OSFs collection can be observed, with the total collection reaching P111.1 million for that year, an P86.5 million or 350 percent increase from the previous year’s record.


DBM projects that OSFs collection in UP will even reach P116.4 million by 2015.


“The sharp increase in OSFs collection is an indication that sometime between 2012 and 2013, fees in the national university surged drastically, either because of the introduction of new and higher fees or changes in the socialized fee scheme” Ridon said.


Source: DBM Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing 2012-2015

In PUP, OSFs upstage tuition


Meanwhile, in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) where tuition has remained P12 per unit, the university administration collected more from OSFs than tuition.


Data from DBM reveals that the PUP administration was able to collect a total of P458.6 million in tuition fees from 2010 to 2013. In contrast, OSFs collection for the same period amount to P709.7 million.


“It is really peculiar to find out that PUP collects more from OSFs than tuition. This situation shows us that even if tuition is kept low, administrators still find ways to collect more money from students,” Ridon said.


Source: DBM Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing 2012-2015

OSFs collection in PUP has also steadily increased over the years. In 2010, total OSFs collection in PUP amounted to P140.7 million. By 2013, total OSFs collection has already reached P187 million.


A similar situation can be observed in other SUCs. In Eulogio ‘Amang’ Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, OSFs collection increased from P33.4 million in 2010 to P90.2 million in 2013. In the Technological University of the Philippines, OSFs collection surged from P46.5 million in 2010 to P141 million in 2013.


Source: DBM Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing 2012-2015
“The data speaks for itself: increasing OSFs collection translate to additional burden for students and their families. With new fees introduced every year, the collections continue to balloon and blow out of proportions. It is therefore necessary for us to address this issue immediately,” Ridon said.


Scrap OSFs


Ridon has earlier called on the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education to investigate the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) “failure to regulate ‘other school fees’ in public and private higher education institutions.”


In Ridon’s House Resolution No. 1640, the youth representative called on Congress to examine how OSFs have remained “completely unregulated” despite the implementation of CHED Memorandum Order No. 3, series of 2012 (CMO 3-2012).


“Instead of regulating OSFs, CMO 3-2012 served to legitimize the collection of these exorbitant, dubious, and redundant fees” Ridon explained.


“Millions of pesos have already been extorted from students and their parents due to the collection of OSF. This is a large contributing factor in the growing inaccessibility of education even in SUCs,” Ridon added.


RISE FOR EDUCATION (R4E) – an alliance of student councils, campus publications, and youth organizations – has also staged several protests against OSFs in the past weeks.


The group dubbed OSFs as a “monstrous twin of tuition increases” and demanded CHED and the Aquino government to immediately order the prohibition of collection of such fees.


Youth and student groups are also gearing for a large protest on December 4 to call for the scrapping of OSFs.###


Cong. Terry Ridon, Kabataan Partylist Representative (09155310725)