By Alexander Villafania
PASIG CITY, METRO MANILA - Only 1,506 private schools have increased their tuition for this school year, according to a report by the Department of Education (DepEd).
This accounts for only 12 percent of all 12,400 private schools recognized by the DepEd.
DepEd has a consultative and advisory position in the private school system in the Philippines. It recently released a memorandum citing the amendments in the 2010 Revised Manual of Regulations for Private Schools in Private Education.
Section 182 of the manual indicated that any tuition fee increase must be made in consultation with the DepEd and must also satisfy certain requirements.
These include the stipulation that 70 percent of the increase will go to salaries, allowances and other benefits of the faculty and staff of the school. \
The remaining 30 percent of the increase can be allocated for development of the school, student assistance, extension services, and investment returns.
Due to the stringent requirements of DepEd regarding price increase, only a few private schools were approved for tuition fee increase.
In Metro Manila, 173 out of 246 private elementary and high schools were approved for tuition increase. This accounts for only eight percent of 2,287 schools in the Metro Manila that have increased their tuition.
Likewise, only 112 private schools out of 700 in Central Visayas were allowed tuition increase. Another 171 private schools out of 431 in Region XI (Davao) have increased their tuition.
In Region V (Bicol), 45 schools out of 593 had tuition increases. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) saw 71 private schools having tuition increases while CARAGA Region has only six of the 517 school that increased fees.
DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro said these figures indicate that fee increases have been generally stable. He stressed that private schools have the final decision to increase fees but the DepEd will continue to monitor any fee increase.
Luistro also called on the owners and administrators of private schools to hold off any fee hikes if only to allow deserving students from poor families to learn.
Some private schools did not start their school season along with public institutions. General opening for some private schools would start in the second week of June.
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