Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon says the country’s top universities are asking for higher tutiton fees despite swimming in billions in pesos in profits in the last two years.
Ridon cited data from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which showed that top colleges were cash cows for their religious and private owners whose profits could rival the top corporations in the country.
”These numbers are simply astounding and is comparable to the profits of a commercial company. Clearly, these schools are not in the red and there is no reason to again increase tuition and other school fees next year,” Ridon said.
Based on SEC financial records, these five universities posted substantial profits:
* Ateneo de Manila University posted P2.9 billion in gross profits for both 2013 and 2014;
* University of the East posted gross profits amounting to P1.9 billion in both 2013 and 2014;
* Far Eastern University (FEU) posted a gross profit of P1.7 billion in 2013 and P1.5 billion in 2014;
*University of Sto. Tomas (UST) registed P1.4 billion in net revenues in 2012; and
* De La Salle University posted P600 million in net revenues in 2013.
“These figures show how the deregulated nature of education has transmogrified the Philippine education system into a lucrative business,” Ridon said.
Ridon lambasted the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for remaining in self-denial over the imminent hike in tuition fees next school year.
In a statement released Monday, CHED said that schools have yet to submit proposals, with the deadline set on April 1, denying the report of independent task force Tuition Monitor which stated that about 400 colleges and universities in the country are set to increase tuition and other school fees next school year.
“The fact that initial data on tuition hike proposals come from an independent task force speaks volumes of CHED’s lack of ground monitoring on ongoing tuition hike consultations in schools. This is actually one of the gripes of students in schools – CHED has no mechanism to monitor hike proposals in the school level,” Ridon said.
The legislator explained that under CHED Memorandum Order No. 3, series of 2012, schools that intend to increase tuition and other school fees need to conduct consultations with their constituents, particularly students, on or before the last day of February.
“Time and again, CHED proved to be a mere stamp pad for tuition increases, with its guidelines serving as nothing but paper tigers. The high cost of tuition is rooted in the government’s policy of deregulation of education – of CHED’s very own refusal to perform its function of protecting our students’ right to affordable and accessible education,” Ridon conclude.