Members of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines have filed petitions for tuition hike due inflation and the lingering effects of the pandemic.
"Actually meron pong schools na nag-apply na po ng tuition increase para sa susunod na academic year," COCOPEA Legal Counsel Attorney Kristine Carmina Manaog said in a Super Radyo dzBB interview.
Atty. Manaog said the number of those who have applied for tuition hike is still undetermined because the consultations have just been concluded.
"Ang average po na increase is at least 4%, depende po yan sa kaniya-kaniyang operational cost kasi may basis naman po ang ating mga application for increase. Pero, yun po ang average around 3 to 4%. Nagba-vary po iyan," she said.
COCOPEA noted that it understands well the financial position of students and parents. But still, the organization explained that schools are also affected by the current inflation and the economic effects of the pandemic.
"Hindi naman po magtataas ng tuition ang ating mga schools ng walang rason. Apektado rin ang schools ng inflation at economic effects ng pandemic," she said.
"'Yung application for tuition increase ay may portion na ina-allot na mapupunta sa sweldo ng teachers at school personnel," she added.
Manaog said that for more than three years, private schools have been unable to increase tuition due to the pandemic.
"'Yung mga small o mid-size schools ay posibleng maapektuhan ang kanilang operation kung hindi mapagbibigyan ang kanilang application [para sa tuition increase]," she noted.
"As much as possible, ayaw din naming mag-increase, ayaw din naming mawalan ng estudyante. 'Yun nga lang, medyo kailangan na at this point," she said, noting that the agency had initiated a thorough study on the matter.
If the tuition hike petition will not be granted, some schools will possibly close or decide to reduce the number of students or teachers.
"Ang mahirap talaga, during the pandemic, 'yung savings nung ibang schools o [dahil kawalan] ng savings, nagamit ang emergency funds nila. Running low na ang ating schools. Nangangailangan na rin ng sufficient funds," she said.
According to Manaog, this is one of the things that COCOPEA wants to address, especially since many teachers in the country choose to work abroad for a better pay. —LBG, GMA Integrated News