Student councils want to cut 10% tuition hike
Several student councils have agreed to a tuition fee increase (TFI) for the coming academic year, but want it lower than the proposed 10 percent hike.
Faculty of Arts and Letters Student Council (ABSC) Vice Internal President Shaira Javier told TomasinoWeb in a text message that while the other student councils agreed to the TFI, not all supported the 10 percent increase and hoped that other fees could be removed .
Javier added that they expected there would be a bargaining again to lower the increase, to give the administration a chance to lower the proposed TFI meant to maintain facilities and normalize the flow of income due to the disruption caused by the K-to-12 transition.
“After knowing one reason na may TFI is because of normalization, the CB (Central Board of Students) does not agree wholly sa TFI na, that’s why they will communicate with the VRF (Vice Rector for Finance) to lower down the TFI,” Javier said.
Central Student Council (CSC) President Janela Love Nartates said that the CSC along with local student councils had a meeting with the Office of the Vice Rector (OVR) last Feb. 14 regarding tuition hike.
“Masiyado siyang (sic) mataas and hindi masiyadong clear sa amin ‘yung pag break down nila ng fees noong time na diniscuss nila sa amin kung saan mapupunta ‘yung increase and ‘yung reason bakit nag-increase,” Nartates said.
The Central Board appealed to the administration last week in the hopes of renegotiating the tuition increase after conducting a survey from different faculties and colleges. Nartates said that the CSC will meet with the OVR again as soon as it has responded to them.
The tuition increase for next year would amount to P1,250 per unit for undergraduates, P1,843 per unit for graduating students, P2,550 per unit for Civil Law students, P2,264 per unit for postgraduate students, and P2,768 per unit for doctorate students, according to OVR in a document released last March 14.
Aside from the maintenance of facilities and equipment in the University, 70 percent of the tuition increase will go to the improvement of salaries and benefits of teaching and non-teaching staff.
League of Filipino Students-UST chairperson John Rolph Vergonia said that the increase is questionable.
“They try to justify the hike by saying it’s for the salary increase of the instructors and for the development of the University facilities. This is cannot (sic) be justified because back in 2015, UST had a net revenue of P1.4 billion considering that it is a non-stock, non-profit school,” Vergonia said.
Based from the data of ABSC, it showed that a salary increase for next academic year would total P132 million and P189 million in tuition fees would be needed.
“UST instructors are also the lowest paid among the top four universities in the Philippines. There are even complaints from the instructors that they haven’t received any substantial increase in their salaries simula nung nagtataas ng tuition ang UST,” Vergonia said.
“So hindi consistent ‘yung sinasabi ng UST admin na tinataasan ng UST ang salary ng instructors kasabay ng pagtataas ng tuition,” he added.
TomasinoWeb reached out to the Office of the Vice Rector for Finance for a comment but they have not respondent yet. – Vince Ferreras, Marc dela Paz, Caryl Manabat, Tyra Aquino