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Marcos seeks Senate probe on 'unnecessary' fees in some private universities amid COVID-19 pandemic

A Senate investigation has been sought on the questionable fees being collected by some universities in the Philippines even when students will not use some services under the flexible learning scheme.

Senate Resolution 480, filed by Senator Imee Marcos on July 29, stated that some private higher education institutions still charge laboratory, library, internet, medical and dental, and energy fees as if regular classes will be held.

It cited the grievance aired by the University of the East Student Council to the Commission on Higher Education that the total tuition and other fees for online learning in their school still ranges from P50,000 to P60,000—an amount "resembling" the expenses in regular face-to-face learning.

The resolution also cited an open letter of a parent to the University of Santo Tomas for allegedly imposing unnecessary fees for services that would not be availed of by learners in distance learning.

Marcos urged CHED to resolve the said issues before the semester begins in August.

"The inclusion of many miscellaneous fees for school facilities and services that would no longer be used is unnecessary and unconscionable," Marcos said.

"Schools should not be playing blind and profiting on what they would no longer provide. Parents and students should definitely be paying less," she added.

Earlier this month, CHED said it is still assessing the applications of several colleges and universities for tuition hike amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

CHED also said that courses which will require person-to-person interaction shall be held in the second semester.

"I-delay natin ng January at uutusan natin na lahat ng subjects na may lab, OJT, internship, etc., i-reschedule nila sa second semester," CHED chairperson Prospero de Vera said.

"So sa first sem, ang ituturo lang yung mga klase na puwedeng regular na lectures. Sa first sem, theoretical lang," he added.—AOL, GMA News