TRAIN Law to
worsen student fees hike
National Union of
Students of the Philippines
February 17, 2018
QUEZON CITY – The
tax reform program by the Duterte administration will further drive
increases in tuition and other school fees (TOSF) collected from
students in private higher education institutions (HEIs).
“The annual burden of
increases in TOSF in private HEIs will be aggravated by Duterte’s
tax reform which is now being cited to legitimize proposals to
increase TOSF for the next academic year,” said Raoul Manuel, Deputy
Secretary General of National Union of Students of the Philippines,
a nationwide alliance of student councils.
In Far Eastern University
(FEU), the eighth largest private HEI in the country in terms of
enrolment, the school administration used Republic Act 10963 or the
Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law to justify the
five-percent increase in semestral energy fee from P1,800 in AY
2017-2018 to P1,890 in AY 2018-2019.
From the hike in energy
fee, FEU can earn an additional income of P3.4 million from its over
18,000-strong student population. In addition, the total
miscellaneous fees charged from FEU students will rise to as much as
P10,914 for AY 2018-2019, which will amount to around 400 million
pesos in income for the school.
Energy fee, which is
commonly collected from students both in state and private
universities to cover the cost of consumption of electricity and
other energy sources, is one of the many fees that school
administrators want increased as they expect higher electricity
bills due to the TRAIN Law.
Top regional schools set
to increase fees
For NUSP, Duterte’s tax
reform law gives capitalist educators and private school owners more
reason to justify their incessant fee increases to amass
superprofits from their students. According to the reports they
gathered, among the over 400 schools projected to apply for fee
increases this February are those that take in the most number of
students in their regions.
Saint Louis University in
Baguio City, the country’s second largest private HEI in terms of
enrolment, has a student population of 32,725 as of 2017. This
university will impose an eight-percent increase in tuition fees for
the next academic year.
Located in Angeles City,
Pampanga, Holy Angel University recorded an enrollment rate of
15,963 as of 2017, the highest in Central Luzon. Next academic year,
this private Catholic university is set to raise tuition fees by six
percent and all other fees by five percent.
In Northern Mindanao
region, Capitol University stands as the private HEI with the fourth
largest student population. This school will implement a
five-percent across-the-board increase in tuition and other fees.
“Students and their
families suffer from the rising cost of education and other daily
necessities. Students will walk out of classes on February 23 to
show their opposition to the TRAIN Law which will further drive
Filipinos along the road to poverty and misery,” said Manuel.