5 colleges in Caraga seek tuition hike

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/16 March) — Five of the 68 tertiary schools in Caraga Region petitioned for tuition increase for the school year 2012-2013, said the Commission on Higher Education (Ched).

Dr. Julius O. Jamero, chief of administration officer of Ched-Caraga, said colleges and universities had until February 28 to file petitions for tuition increase before the commission’s regional offices after which its central office would act on them.

Jamero said a school’s petition may be granted if it had conducted a consultation prior to the deadline.

“Well, those schools that have not conducted a consultation cannot increase their tuition,” he said.

Based on Ched Memorandum Order 13, series of 1998, Amendment Memorandum Order 14, series of 2005, along with the Education Act of 1992, all tertiary schools across the country cannot implement an increase without holding a consultation with various stakeholders in their level first.

The consultation must be attended by representatives from various sectors including student councils, faculty members and alumni.

The final list of schools whose applications for tuition increase will be granted will be released on April 1.

Ched announced that at least 300 universities and colleges all over the country have petitioned for a tuition hike.

Mindanews asked for the list of schools that applied for tuition hike for the next school year but Jamero said it was still premature to release it. He said these five institutions sought for an increase below five tuition.

He said that in case a petition would be granted it will only apply on incoming freshmen.

Last year, 324 or roughly 14 percent of the 2,247 colleges and universities nationwide increased their school fees to an average rate of 10.62 percent.

Based on data from Ched-National Office, at least 80 percent of tertiary schools across the country are privately owned.

Also last year, 15 universities and colleges in Caraga Region increased their tuition by as much as 10 percent. Among these were Fr. Saturnino Urious University in Butuan City, STI in Surigao City, De La Salle John Bosco College in Bislig City, New Northern Mindanao Colleges in Cabadbaran City and Agusan del Sur Colleges in Bayugan City.

For school year 2010-2011, all the 57 tertiary schools in Caraga increased their various school fees from 10 to 15 percent.

Jamero said schools may petition to increase their tuition and other fees to improve facilities, increase the wages of teachers and workers, and to cope with inflation, among other reasons. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)