Aquino, CHED secure profit of schools over right to education – student group

February 5, 2016

By LFS

Youth and students led by the League of Filipino Students (LFS) and Kabataan Partylist held a protest at the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Friday morning to denounce the new round of tuition increases and continuing imposition of other school fees (OSF).

“There is an escalating attack on our right to education perpetrated by the Aquino government. In 6 years of his term as president, the relentless increases in tuition and other school fees persist. By 2015, the cost of higher education has doubled as well as the profits earned by top universities,” said LFS National Chairperson Charisse Bañez.

LFS and Kabataan Partylist members hanged their school uniforms on the gates of CHED to symbolize “how the government strips off the access of every youth to quality education”. The protesters also carried report cards of BS Aquino and CHED chairperson Patricia Licuanan to illustrate the government’s failure to provide free public education to the Filipino youth.

“We demand Aquino to stop tuition increases and junk other school fees. Every young Filipino has the right to free college education,” said Bañez

“Under Aquino, education became a lucrative venture for profit. Some universities consistently appear in the list of Top 1,000 Corporations in the country. While other universities, although non-stock and non-profit, also posted considerable increases in net revenue,” Bañez continued.

The students also brought mock logos of top-earning universities to protest their rising profit amid skyrocketing tuition and other school fee costs.

According to Bañez , among these schools with the most extensive growths in net revenue are Far Eastern University which posted an 81% growth in net revenue; Lyceum of the Philippines with a 140% increase in net revenue; University of the East with 30% increase; De La Salle University with 62% growth; and the University of Sto. Tomas which reached more than a billion in net revenue. Bañez noted that these are also the schools that raise their tuition and OSF annually.

 

  2010 net revenue 2015 net revenue
Far Eastern University P 713 million P 1.08 billion
Lyceum of the Philippines P 272.6 million P 657.6 million
University of the East P 352.3 million P 463.5 million
De La Salle University P 381.9 million P 734 million
University of Sto. Tomas P941 million P1.3 billion
*data study from Kabataan Partylist based on financial reports submitted to

 the Securities and Exhange Commission

Bañez added that even the state universities and colleges (SUCs) posted an increase in collection of tuition and other school fees. According to the student leader, tuition collection increased by 55% from P5.1 billion in 2010 to P8.1 billion in 2015. She noted that OSF posted an even greater growth with 83% from P2.6 billion in 2010 to 4.7 billion in 2015.

“The Aquino government refuses to regulate tuition fees in universities and colleges. Worse, while tuition increases annually, universities are free to impose OSFs which are redundant, dubious, and exorbitant. It is a double-whammy attack to the youth’s access to education,” said Bañez.

Bañez noted that some of the OSFs that are dubiously imposed on students are spiritual fee, donation fee, instalment fee, chapel fee, cultural fee, and other fees that are not clear why they are being paid for. She added that these fees are collected on top of highly expensive energy fees, internet fee, development fees, and other fees that are supposedly already part of the operating expenses and capital outlay paid for by students in their tuition.

“The Aquino has allowed the tuition rate in the country to reach P60,000 to 100,000 annually. In addition, students are required to pay OSF on top of their tuition which costs almost the same amount. In some universities, OSF costs more than the tuition of the students,” said Bañez.

Bañez noted that the average Filipino family has an annual income of P235,000 while the poorest decile has an annual income of P60,000. She said that the Aquino government refuses to provide higher education to most Filipino families abandoning its responsibility to the youth and people as mandated by the Constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“The Aquino government’s CHED memorandum no. 3 series of 2012 and implementation of the Education Act of 1982 allowed universities and colleges to arbitrarily impose fees. Also, Aquino’s different policies on education like the K to 12 program and Roadmap to Higher Education Program (RPHER) guarantee the increase in profit of capitalist-educators,” said Bañez.

Bañez said that February is the month where universities and colleges hold “bogus” consultations for tuition increases. Youth and students meanwhile will hold a series of protests in different universities across the country. She added that they are also preparing for campus walk-outs in February 12, 24, and March 11. ###

References:
Charisse Bañez, LFS National Chairperson (63) 919 617 8979
Aries Gupit, LFS National Secretary-General (63) 947 883 8394
Email: lfsphilippines@gmail.com