Press Release
June 2, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara proposed short- and long-term fixes to excessive school fees in higher education, which is believed to be a major factor in increasing dropout rates.

The Senate Committee on Education, Culture and Arts, which Angara chairs, held a public hearing today prompted by Senate Resolution No. 488, which seeks an inquiry into the imposition of redundant and excessive miscellaneous fees.

According to the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), only 324 out of the 1,611 privately run higher education institutions (HEI's) in the country were allowed to raise their tuition this year by an average of 14.37 percent. The increase ranges from P72.77 per unit among HEI's in Metro Manila to P50.44 per unit among those in Central Luzon.

State universities and colleges are prohibited from increasing their fees while 80 percent of 63 deregulated local universities and colleges increased fees by 5 percent to 10 percent.

CHEd does not regulate the increase in miscellaneous fees among HEI's.

"Some schools charge imaginative and redundant charges, which sometimes end up costing more than the actual tuition of the students," Angara warned.

As a short-term remedy, Angara repeatedly urged CHEd to consult with stakeholders present at the hearing, such as members of the private education sector and student organizations, regarding the proper regulation of miscellaneous fees.

"Short of putting a cap on tuition or other fees, we must draw up a uniform classification of miscellaneous fees that should be allowed," said Angara said.

"CHEd has the authority to impose sanctions on institutions that do not comply with their rules and regulations. Hence, it must be proactive in solving these problems," he added.

Over the long term, he said that a legislative measure addressing miscellaneous fees in HEI's should be crafted.

"Disparity between the cost of private and public education is growing greater. Private colleges now cost five to ten times more than our state colleges and universities. We must make higher education more accessible - not less attainable - for Filipino students," said Angara.

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