Latin America

Tuition hike? Check quality of education first – Bam Aquino

Jee Y. Geronimo
The senator says CHED should consider factors, like the passing rate of colleges in board exams and the employability of graduates, before allowing tuition fee increases

MANILA, Philippines – “Quality of education should be one of the criteria before allowing a school to increase tuition fees.”

Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV called on the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to check the quality of education being offered by private higher education institutions (HEIs) before approving their request for an increase in tuition fees and other school fees (TOSF).

Aquino’s call comes as 353 private colleges and universities – mostly located in Metro Manila – submitted to the commission their petitions for higher TOSF for the school year 2014-2015. (READ: 353 private colleges want higher tuition)

This number of applicants is lower than in 2013, when 451 colleges and universities applied for the increase. CHED approved 78% or 354 petitions on May 27, 2013.

“How can a college explain to parents that they need to pay more when their children aren’t getting the quality education they deserve?” Aquino said in a statement Tuesday, May 13.

For him, factors like the passing rate of colleges in board exams and the employability of graduates should be considered by CHED. This way, even the country’s high unemployment rate can be addressed.

Aquino, who is also the chair of the Senate youth committee, plans to file a resolution calling CHED and representatives of various HEIs to address the issue.

The commission earlier said it would ensure every HEI meets guidelines provided by law – especially consultation and the allocation of tuition fees – to make tuition fee increases “transparent, reasonable, and affordable.”

Section 42 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 232 or the Education Act of 1982 allows private schools to “determine its rate of tuition and other school fees or charges…subject to rules and regulations promulgated by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports” (now Department of Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and CHED).

But other regulations – such as Republic Act 6728, and CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) 13, s. 1998 and CMO 3, s. 2012 – require the allocation of every incremental tuition increase as follows:

  • 70% for the salaries, wages, allowances, and other benefits of both teaching and non-teaching personnel
  • 20% for the improvement, acquisition, and modernization of school facilities, 
  • 10% may be allotted for the return on investment for HEIs that are stock corporations

CHED regional offices were instructed to submit to CHED’s central office a verified and approved list of the private HEIs allowed to increase their TOSF on or before May 15. –

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.