SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga: Thirty-seven private higher education institutions (HEIs) in Central Luzon were approved to raise tuition and school fees effective this coming school year beginning June.
Dr. Virginia Akiate, Commission on Higher Education (CHED)-3 regional director, said the tuition fee hike amounts to 8.86 percent, or equivalent to P44.48 per unit, lower compared to the 12.22-percent increase or an equivalent of P50 per unit back in 2011.
Akiate said that 55 HEIs in the area applied for tuition hike but it was only the 37 institutions that have been approved during the CHED’s 431st regular commission en banc meeting. It was verified and presented by the Office of Student Services after a month of careful scrutiny of the submission.
In Central Luzon is home to 202 HEIs.
She explained that under CHED Memorandum Order 13 issued in 1998, HEIs are required for every incremental tuition fee increase to allocate 70 percent of the increase for the payment of salaries, allowances and other benefits of teaching and nonteaching personnel.
A 20 percent is allotted for the modernization of buildings, equipment, libraries, laboratories and other similar facilities, and also for the payment of other costs of operation; 10 percent goes to return on investment for the HEIs if they are stock corporations.
She said the tuition fee increase petition underwent a crucial process before it was approved.
“It’s a process. First, the schools must inform the CHED 15 days before they will tell the public regarding the tuition fee hike. School officials need to discuss it with students, parents, alumni, especially the student organizations,” the regional director said.
She further said that HEIs need to give the commission a certificate of intended compliance to know how it will use the tuition fee increase.
“CHED required them to submit the comparative schedule of tuition fee—the percent of last increase and this coming school year,” Akiate said.
She said they expect the decline in the number of enrollees with this new tuition fee hike in the private colleges and universities.
“But we have to understand that private schools need to increase their payment of teachers’ salaries and upgrade their facilities in order to cope up with times,” she said.
Akiate said that students have the option to enroll in state colleges and universities since they also have the same standards as the private HEIs.
Shiela T. Mañalac