Press Release
March 17, 2013

Amid UP freshman's suicide

Sen. Chiz Escudero expressed dismay over news of a freshman at the University of the Philippines Manila who took her life for her inability to pay her tuition.

"It is a sad testament to the lack of access to education in the country that a student of a state university has been forced to take a leave of absence after failing to pay her tuition, the supposed reason for her to end her young life," Escudero said.

He said he would seek an inquiry into the UP system to find out if the government-owned university has been serving its mandated purpose of providing accessible education to deserving students.

"Equal access to education is one of my advocacies. And being a product of the UP myself, I sympathize with those who are unable to afford college tuition even with subsidies provided by the state university," Escudero said.

With the high cost of education, many Filipino students turn to state-run schools to nurture their hope of an improved life.

"The recent suicide at UP Manila of 16-year old Kristel Tejada puts the spotlight on the high cost of education in state schools and that college education and on the fact that state education is getting to be beyond the reach of ordinary Filipino families," he said.

Escudero said that the UP system has the biggest network of state universities and at the same time gets the biggest slice of the budget for subsidies for public education.

"Do we now have to hear similar frequent cases as public education fails to provide the youth with a quality future. The priority of public schools should be the poor and deserving above those who can afford private schooling but wanted to obtain the high quality of education provided in the state university," Escudero said.

He said the priority of his next term would be the infusion of his priority development assistance fund (PDAF) for projects to enhance the quality of public education such as the rehabilitation and repair of public schools and the granting of scholarships in each district of the country.

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