DAVAO City Councilor Mabel Sunga-Acosta appealed Wednesday to Commission on Higher Education (Ched) to expand the scope of its memorandum order that calls for leniency on “No Permit, No Exam” (NPNE) policies.

During the City Council Media Hour press forum, Acosta argued that current cost of living has soared dramatically that while there have been exponential increase in school fees, there has been no corresponding “substantial augmentation in salaries and wages” nationwide.

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Acosta said the Ched memorandum, which was issued last January 22, responded to the clamor of Ondoy victims “who have to rebuild their normal lives.”

She appealed to colleges and universities for flexibility in their implementation of NPNE policies or any policy that prohibit students from taking their periodic or final exam due to unpaid tuition and school fees.

“However, we are asking that this be made nationally. Locally, we are experiencing difficulties… and we do not see that the students should be denied of their exams because they have not paid,” Acosta said.

She also said the NPNE policy only adds another set of tasks for the educational system in schools.

“If students miss having their exams the normal schedule, the teachers would have to create another set of make-up exams and for the students, this would be another form of hassle especially for those who are graduating because they have a lot of requirements,” Acosta said.

“Whereas kung the students would be allowed to take their exams with their classmates, then things would go smoother. Anyway, a student will not be cleared for that year or would not be allowed to graduate kung hindi niya nabayaran ang kanyang fines. In time rin naman things would come together, all these should settle,” she added.

The city councilor also appealed for “goodwill” from the part of the private school administrations. “Tulong na rin ito na hindi madistorbo yung pag-aaral ng estudyante kapag iniisip pa niya yung ibabayad niya. In a time that our economy is bad we should we willing to give a little allowance. Kailangan nating magtulungan.”

Councilor Peter Lavina concurred, saying the council appeals to all schools to be considerate.

“Daghan pud mga ginikanan nga naglisug ug finance labi na kanang mga gikan ug probinsya unya diri pa-eskelahon ang anak sa syudad. (There are a lot of parents who are having a hard time financing their children’s education in the city),” said Lavina, who chairs the City Council committee on trade, commerce, and industry.