GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/27 March) – Ten of the 26 colleges and universities in Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region have set another round of increases in tuition and other school fees starting June, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) revealed.
Dr. Eloisa Paderanga, CHED Region 12 director, said they were formally informed of the new fee increases based on documents submitted to their office by the concerned colleges and universities.
Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
“We’re currently reviewing the submitted documents based on the guidelines set by the Commission,” Paderanga said.
But she pointed out that CHED was not mandated to approve or disapprove the proposed fee increases that were submitted to their office.
She said they were only tasked to received and review the documents submitted by the colleges and universities to ensure that they complied with the requirements, among them the mandatory consultation, involving the new fee increases.
“We don’t approve, we just acknowledge them because the (increase in) tuition fees are decided by the owners or the school themselves,” Paderanga said in an interview with a local television station.
She did not cite any figure as to the proposed tuition fee increases set by the 10 colleges and universities but she said they were coordinating with them to ensure that the hike would be at the reasonable level.
“If we find the increases as too high, we immediately ask their officials to reconsider and lower the rates to just around 10
percent,” Paderanga said.
Last year, 20 colleges and universities in the region had raised their tuition fees by 4 to 10 percent to supposedly cover for the increase in the salaries of their personnel and finance the necessary improvements of their facilities.
In January, the CHED central office issued a memorandum detailing the “”Enhanced Policies, Guidelines and Procedures Governing Increases in Tuition and Other School Fees, Introduction of New Fees, and for Other Purposes.”
The memo specifically laid out the consultation process and the requirements to be met by schools that intend to raise their tuition fees.
It cited that 70 percent of the increase in tuition “should be allotted for the teaching and non-teaching personnel not necessarily
an increase in personnel compensation.”
It set the creation in every region of a Regional Multi-sectoral Committee on Tuition Fee and Other Schools Fees (RMSCTOSF) to monitor the compliance of schools, colleges, and universities.
A National Multi-sectoral Committee was also formed to oversee the RMSCTOSFs. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)