CHEd created problem, instead of solutions - Rep. Robert Ace Barbers | Inquirer News

CHEd created problem, instead of solutions – Rep. Robert Ace Barbers

/ 05:15 AM January 08, 2024

Prospero de Vera III Robert Ace Barbers

CHEd Chair Prospero de Vera III and Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers (FILE PHOTOS)

MANILA, Philippines — Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers urged President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Sunday to review the competence of Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) officials who recently ordered state and local universities and colleges (SUCs and LUCs) to stop offering the senior high school (SHS) program, accusing them of creating another problem for the education sector.

In a statement, Barbers said that CHEd should have helped out the Department of Education (DepEd) by continuing the SHS program instead of focusing on “minor technicalities.”


“Instead of being part of the solution, CHEd created another problem. It is as if our educational system is not beset with enough problems. The callous pronouncement only shows the priorities and incompetence of the sitting set of commissioners, whose qualifications and outputs should now be reviewed by a body created by the President,” he added.


According to Barbers, aside from appointing masters or doctorate degree holders, CHEd officials must also have outstanding managerial experience, be expert and experienced educators, “tested by time, and with proven track record and character.”

“Some commissioners act like gods and lord it over the institutions of higher learning. These are questions of character which do not have a place in our educational system,” he said.

Appoint right people

DepEd data showed that over 17,000 Grade 11 students currently enrolled in the SUCs and LUCs might be displaced once these institutions comply with CHEd Chair Prospero de Vera III’s order last month to stop offering the SHS program “as there [was] no longer legal basis to fund the same.”

The SUCs and LUCs were allowed to accept SHS students between school years 2016 and 2021 as part of the transition period for the implementation of the K-12 educational system. Under the program, students enrolled in these institutions received a subsidy from DepEd through a voucher system.

“It is about time that we review the performance of each individual commissioner so that we may appoint the rightful people who can check our slide in education standards and improve our global standing, not just on paper but in actual performance of our graduates,” Barbers said.

House Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers party list Rep. France Castro, on the other hand, pushed for an inquiry into the government’s unilateral removal of the subsidy for the SHS program through House Resolution No. 1533 which she filed with Gabriela women’s party list Rep. Arlene Brosas and Kabataan party list Rep. Raoul Manuel.


“[There] is a strong need to investigate the latest [memorandums] of DepEd and CHEd related to the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education program, to determine if the implementation aligns with the constitutional mandate of providing quality education for all, regardless of their economic status,” she said.

Castro also asked that the implementation of the CHEd order be deferred until a solution could be found to prevent the displacement of affected students.


For Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr., House Committee on Appropriations vice chair, students about to be displaced could go to private schools and avail themselves of a government subsidy to pay for their tuition.

He said that Congress had earmarked P27.8 billion for the SHS Voucher Program (SHSVP) in the 2024 national budget for the tuition of underprivileged SHS students enrolled in private schools or private universities and colleges.

Apart from helping disadvantaged students, the SHSVP would also provide a lifeline to private high schools still recovering from financial difficulties due to the pandemic.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“We need private high schools to keep on operating viably, especially in communities where we lack public schools,” Campos said.

TAGS: Commission on Higher Education

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.