CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Kabataan Party-list group and students from Central Luzon met with higher education official during their rally-dialogue at the education's office on Friday.
In observing the national day of protest, the party-list headed by its regional spokesperson Mark Cabrera and some student councils in different universities in Central Luzon conveyed their concerns regarding tuition and miscellaneous fees increases.
But Commission on Higher Education (Ched) Regional Director Maura Consolacion-Cristobal said the increase in tuition fees depends on school boards and not Ched.
"Hindi dumadaan sa amin ang pag-increase ng tuition. Dumadaan 'yan sa Chair of the Board. Nagbigay na kami ng P500,000 increase sa budget, pero P100,000 pa lang ang naibigay. Pero madadaan ito ng maayos," she said.
She added that Ched has issued a memorandum order, which states that any university can increase tuition fees but has to follow procedures.
"Last year the President appealed not have increases in tuition but what happened is that those competent professors were gone, those without masteral degrees were only left," she said in vernacular.
However, she said the order requires one university to have a Notice of Consultation. This consultation should hear the sides of the faculty, parents, alumni and students as well.
"Before the Notice of Consular be approved, they still have to submit a Notice of Compliance wherein it showed proof of where the money spent last year goes.
There is also a Notice of Intended Compliance wherein it stated to where the money should go. We handled those documents.," she added.
Students appealed to Cristobal to ask their school's transparency regarding expenses.
One student from Tarlac State University said that the school asks for P700 for a development fee.
"Actually Ched only allows development fee of P100 pero hindi allowed ito sa mga private schools (But it is not allowed in private schools). I advise you to see your Chair of the Board for all your grievances. Magsend kayo ng Letter of Grievance, dapat pirmado para patunay na totoo ang sulat (should be signed for proof). It's really out of our jurisdiction na," she said.
Cristobal also stated that they monitor schools through letters from the students (letters of grievance) and endorse them to schools privately. Then, she said they mediate on the regional level and conduct legal discussions at the central office.
She even asked for assistance from the student councils and told them their concerns will be passed to Ched Executive Director Julito Vitriolo.
In an interview with Mark Cabrera, he said they hoped that their concerns will be passed to higher authorities and see results in two weeks to one month.
"We will monitor everything after our picket-dialogue," he said. (Marlon P. Beltran)