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Youth party seeks Congress intervention on tuition, other fees issues in SUCs, private schools

The Kabataan party-list on Thursday filed separate resolutions to look into a memorandum allowing school fees to be collected despite the existence of the free tuition law, and to disapprove applications for tuition increase.

In House Resolution 2555, Kabataan party-list Representative Sarah Elago directed the House Committee on Higher Education to investigate, condemn and revoke the memorandum released by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act (UniFAST) that allows collection of 141 fees in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) despite the implementation of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

"These imposed fees assault the purpose of the student movement's victory in the removal of fee collection under free education," the resolution read.

"The release by CHED-UniFaST of the list of 141 other school fees (OSF) that may be collected from students of SUCs bastardizes the intent of the free education program which prohibits OSF collection," it added.

Meanwhile in House Resolution 2556, the youth party urged the House of Representatives to direct CHED to reject applications for tuition fee increase in basic and higher education institutions.

Citing information from the National Union of Students of the Philippines, the resolution said around 1,000 private schools, universities and colleges have applied for 6 to 8 percent tuition and other school fees (TOSF) increase to the Department of Education and CHED.

The party-list said that tuition fee increase keep students from entering in schools.

"Another round of fees increases causes higher drop-outs, slower graduations, and fewer completion rates," the resolution read.

"To increase TOSF is to deny the youth their right to education," it added.

The Kabataan party-list said they have previously filed two resolutions on this matter before, but this new resolution already calls for the Lower House's intervention as CHED has already received the TOSF applications and is bound to approve them. — Erwin Colcol/RSJ, GMA News