Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) Congressman Win Gatchalian has filed a bill that will impose a two-year moratorium on tuition and other fees increase starting next year if enacted into a law.
House Bill No. 5892, also known as the “Tuition Fee Moratorium Act”, seeks to give parents reprieve as the K to 12 program, which provides an additional two years to the basic education curriculum, is set to be fully implemented in the next school year.
Gatchalian said the full implementation of the K-12 program will result in a lengthened program of basic education. “This means that parents will be responsible for paying for an additional two years of school fees.”
“In order to help parents cope with the additional expenses they will incur in supporting the education of their children, this legislation seeks to impose a two-year moratorium on tuition and other fees increases in private institutions offering basic education programs,” explained Gatchalian.
The Valenzuela City representative, who is a majority member for the House committees on basic education and culture and on higher and technical education, recalled that the high cost of education is a key factor on why children leave school, based on the Annual Poverty Indicators Survey.
“One of the primary factors concerning the right to education is its accessibility. Currently, the high cost of education has turned this right into a burdensome privilege for many poor and middle-class Filipino families who struggle to pay for tuition and other school fees,” said Gatchalian.
Gatchalian’s proposed moratorium on tuition fee increases shall begin on school year 2016-2017 and end after school year 2017-2018.
Under H.B. 5892, school officials who will be responsible for their institution’s non-compliance shall be face a fine of P100,000 to P500,000 or imprisonment of not more than six years.
Only schools that have suffered net losses as shown by their annual financial statement of the year immediately following the enactment of this measure shall be given exemption.
Misdeclaration of income and liabilities shall be considered prima facie evidence of violation of this act, still according to H.B. 5892. (Monica Cantilero)