The University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, a state-run school , has temporarily suspended the collection of tuition from its students for the first semester of academic year 2017-2018.
In a recent announcement, the Office of the University Registrar said the suspension stays until the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) issues clearer guidelines on the implementation of its 2017 no-tuition policy.
UP Chancellor Michael Tan made the announcement after a protest rally at the university on Tuesday.
“There will be no collection of tuition until [the]government is clear about their plan. They are not clear yet as to how much this subsidy will be, [whether]partial or complete and who will be eligible,” Tan said.
“Until they clarify, we will not collect any amount from students,” he added.
The university, however, is yet to release an official memorandum for the suspension.
Tan said the decision was not yet final and the university may still collect fees from students later in the year, if the subsidy from the government does not suffice.
The Duterte administration has allocated P8 billion from the 2017 budget for the implementation of the free-tuition policy, which gives priority to beneficiaries of government student financial assistance programs in the country.
Based on a memorandum issued by the CHED and the Department of Budget and Management, the tuition-free policy will cover “all Filipino students enrolling in undergraduate course programs in state universities and colleges for the academic year 2017-2018, subject to the prioritization directive of the President and the availability of funds in the Higher Education Support Fund.”
Active militant youth group Anakbayan asked the students to help prevent the retraction of the tuition-free policy, as most students from the university welcomed the announcement.