Press Release
March 7, 2006


Senator Manny Villar, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order, says that its about time that the Department of Education (DepEd) put its foot down regarding unauthorized collections or contributions in schools.

According to Villar, Over the years, the notorious practice of school administrators or faculty members of collecting various miscellaneous fees from students have become rampant. Parents and students are left with no choice most of the time since they fear that they are at the mercy of such scrupulous individuals.

Its good that the DepEd has intervened and issued an order to prevent schools from continuing with such practices. As it is, parents are already making ends meet just to send their children to school. We should do everything in our power so nobody would add to their financial burdens, adds Villar.

Early this month, DepEd Officer-in-Charge Fe Hidalgo issued an order that reiterates its policy on the conduct and collection of fees for graduation rites. The order states that public schools are not allowed to collect any graduation fees or any kind of contribution for graduation rites; no non-academic project shall be imposed as a requirement for graduation; contributions are on a voluntary basis; among others.

Villar cites, I urge the DepEd to be vigilant about such unauthorized collections and forced contribution not just during graduation time but throughout the school year, especially during enrollment period also. Reports have reached my office that during enrollment, various collections are also being made as a requirement prior to enrollment.

To this end, Villar filed Senate Bill 573 that seeks to prohibit the sale of tickets, collection of contributions, solicitations in any form or any similar fund-raising activity in elementary and secondary public schools. The penalties for violators shall be a fine of not less than P3,000 and not more than P6,000 or imprisonment of not less than three months and not more than six months.

Such notorious practices of unauthorized collections and forced contributions as prerequisite to enrollment are in conflict with the constitutions guarantee of quality education for all students, Villar further cites on his bill.

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