9% of Metro schools seek tuition raise
MANILA, Philippines—Amid the ever-increasing cost of living, 168 private elementary and high schools in Metro Manila are poised to raise tuition this school year to cover salary hikes and facility improvements, the Department of Education (DepEd) Metro Manila office said on Thursday.
DepEd data showed that 9 percent of the 1,833 Metro Manila private schools will raise tuition and miscellaneous fees mostly from six to 10 percent, said Rizalino Rosales, assistant DepEd regional director for the National Capital Region.
Of the total, 101 are high schools while 67 are preschools and elementary schools mostly in Quezon City and Manila.
Up to 30 more schools have pending requests undergoing DepEd assessment. While private schools have the discretion to raise their fees, the DepEd still exercises oversight authority to see that they are justified, Rosales said.
“The prices of commodities have increased. They said they have to increase their tuition to pay for the salaries of teaching and nonteaching personnel,” he said.
The DepEd has yet to receive complaints from parents and students about the tuition hikes but they are to be expected, said Rosales.
“If the increases they are asking for are too high, we use the persuasive approach and ask them to reduce the rates they are requesting. We just negotiate it,” said Rosales.
He said the number of private basic education institutions raising fees this year is consistent with the numbers that implemented hikes in the past years.
“Annually, between 150 and 200 private schools increase their tuition by about 10 to 12 percent,” he said.
Rosales said the DepEd requires private schools to hold consultations first before implementing any increases and to file proof that 70 percent of the tuition hikes would go to wages, 20 percent to facilities development and “only 10 percent to ROI (return on investment).”
DepEd data showed that most of the schools would be implementing tuition increases ranging from P1,000 to P5,000. International schools have sought even higher increases, ranging from P10,000 to P17,000.
The Federation of Associations of Private Schools and Administrators (Fapsa), an organization of some 2,000 Metro Manila private schools, said increases were necessary to cover the rising cost of operating private schools.
“It’s for the salary increase of teachers who may have to leave for public schools if [the tuition hikes] are not given. However, we are also aware of possible decreases in enrollment owing to the tuition increases,” said Fapsa president Eleazar Kasilag.
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