ILOILO CITY, Philippines?Twenty four schools in Western Visayas have increased tuition and other fees this school year, seven times more than the number of schools that raised fees last year, according to the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).
Dr. Rex Casiple, CHEd assistant regional director, said on Tuesday that 23 private schools and one state college increased tuition ranging from 2-10 percent and averaging 7.55 percent.
Twelve of the schools that increased their tuition are in Negros Occidental. These are the Colegio de Santa Rita, Silay Institute, Tanyon College, John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation (JBLCF)-Bacolod, VMA Global College, Riverside College, Binalbagan Catholic College, Colegio de San Agustin, La Consolacion College, Central Philippine Adventist College, University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos and the University of St. La Salle.
In Iloilo, nine schools have raised their fees, including the St. Paul University Iloilo, University of Iloilo, Western Institute of Technology, John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation (JBLCF)-Molo, JBLCF Maritime University, Saint Therese College (STC) MTC-Tigbauan, STC MTC-La Fiesta, STC MTC-Magdalo and Iloilo Doctors College.
One school each in the provinces of Aklan, (STI-Kalibo), Capiz (Filamer Christian College) and Guimaras (Guimaras State College) also increased their fees.
The lowest tuition for private schools in the region is pegged at P187 per unit at the Hercor College in Capiz while the highest is P795 per unit at the JBLCF Maritime University in Iloilo.
For public schools, the lowest tuition is P100 per unit at the Northern Iloilo Polytechnic College and Iloilo State College of Fisheries while the highest is P225 per unit at the University of Antique. This excludes the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, which charges P600 per unit under its Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program.
Casiple said the number of schools that increased their fees for school year 2010-2011 is seven times more than the three schools that raised their fees during the school year 2009-2010.
In school year 2006-2007, 27 schools in Western Visayas raised their fees by an average of 10 percent while 29 schools also raised fees by an average of 8 percent in the school year 2007-2008. The following school year (2008-2009), 28 schools increased tuition by an average of eight percent while three schools raised their fees by five percent last school year (2009-2010).
Most of the schools that plan to increase their fees cited as reasons the need to increase the salary of teachers, the improvement or modernization of facilities and the increase in maintenance and operating cost, Casiple said.
The tuition increase came amid protests by militant students? groups in Metro Manila over tuition increases.
The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) yesterday picketed the CHEd office in Quezon City and demanded a moratorium on tuition increase.
Holding up placards, at least 20 NUSP members demanded a tuition freeze and the list of the 339 schools that had received a go signal from CHEd to increase their tuition.
Lawyer Eulando Lontoc, officer-in-charge of the Public Attorney?s Office, met with the protesters.
?It is the right of the public, especially the students and parents, to know the list of schools with increases,? the NUSP said in a statement.
The NUSP said it also believes that not all of the 339 schools that were allowed to increase fees went through the consultation process amid reports from student councils that they have not been invited to any consultation meeting. With a report by Emil Sarmiento