• SC junks petition vs. tuition hikes

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    THE Supreme Court (SC) dismissed outright a petition seeking to stop 354 tertiary schools from raising their tuition and other fees for lack of jurisdiction.

    During Tuesday’s en banc session, a court insider said it was Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno who moved for the outright dismissal of the petition that was filed by several youth groups led by Kabataan party-list, along with students from various colleges and universities.

    Sereno argued that the case was “premature” and there was still “no cause of action.”

    The court, sitting en banc, adopted Sereno’s recommendation since there was no objection among the magistrates.

    In the petition, the youth groups sought to stop the implementation of the newly-approved hikes in 354 colleges and universities nationwide.

    The petition questions the constitutionality of Sec. 42 of Batas Pambansa No. 232 or the Education Act of 1982 and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum Order No. 3 series of 2012—which were the basis for approval of new and higher fees in tertiary schools—as “both law and regulation does not constitute reasonable regulation and supervision of all educational institutions as required by the 1987 Constitution.”

    It also sought to declare invalid all increases in tuition and other school fees that were based on BP 232 and CMO 3 even in the past years.

    Respondents for the case include CHED and several schools that increased tuition this school year, notably the University of Santo Tomas, University of the East Caloocan and Adamson University.

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