of GMA's 'lack of political will',
tuition hike looms
betrayal of students' trust
This was how College
of Mass Communication Student Council Chair Emil James Mijares described
President Gloria Macapagal's move to retain last year's UP budget. According
to Mijares, Macapagal is no different from her predecessor, ousted president
Joseph Ejercito Estrada, who prioritized the AFP modernization over
sa naging dahilan ng pagkakaluklok niya ngayon ay mga estudyante pero
hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin niya
tinutugunan ang kahilingan natin para sa mas mataas na budget,"
natin ng kilos protesta ang una niyang State of the Nation Address (SONA)
upang ipaalala sa kanya na hanggang ngayon ay wala pa siyang konkretong
programa para sa edukasyon," he added.
The University Student
Council (USC) supported the call, expressing dismay over Macapagal's
"lack of political will." USC Councilor Lara Cabusao said
that one of the main reasons for Estrada's ouster was his failure to
recognize the need to develop education through higher budget.
"A week after
Estrada's ouster, we presented to Macapagal our demand for higher financial
allocation in our Youth Agenda but she has not done anything substantive
until now," Cabusao said.
TFI and STFAP
Meanwhile, if the
Mecapagal administration would slash UP's budget once again, this would
translate to another round of tuition increase this time for the undergraduate
Nemenzo is now considering an undergraduate tuition increase as a means
to augment UP's income given the government's plan to freeze 20 percent
of the UP budget.
"I'm not going
to promise na walang tuition increase," Nemenzo said. He added
that the parents would understand the move, rather than for UP to provide
mediocre education to the students.
Nemenzo also admitted
that the STFAP has failed to deliver its promise of equitable tuition
to students. He has created a committee to draft reforms for the Socialized
Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP).
The proposals of
the committee might be implemented next
year. The revised STFAP is expected to ensure that subsidy
would be distributed more equitably to UP students.
Flaks from the
The USC, however,
remained critical of both the STFAP revision and the possible tuition
In a dialogue with
the Board of Regents (BOR) two weeks ago,
the UCS argurd that the increase for the graduate level was
illegal because of the failure to consult graduate students as well
as the USC, as provided by the Commission on Higher
Education (CHED) memorandum no. 13.
USC Vice Chair Michael
Andrada said that in spite of the veritable facts they have presented
that the consultations were improper, the BOR has hastily dismissed
remained adamant that there was no need to consult the student council
as only the affected students should be consulted. He also claimed that
contrary to Andrada's claim, the STFAP expenses often excedeed its allotted
budget. He said that the poor students are the ones who need subsidy,
thus the rebracketting of STFAP
the STFAP as an "income generating scheme" as well as a "smokescreen"
for tuition increase. He estimated that the UP administration generates
100 million from STFAP yearly and contributes 30 percent of UP's revolving
pa ang STFAP P40 lang per unit. Ngayon umabot na ng P300 per unit,"