SOME 1,013 private elementary and secondary schools nationwide were allowed to increase their tuition and other fees this year, the Education department said Thursday.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said some eight percent of the total number of private institutions would be implementing a tuition increase by next year.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said after both houses of Congress ratified the reconciled version of the bill making tuition in public colleges free, Malacañang should include the cost of the program in the 2018 national budget.
He said the cost of defraying the tuition waivers in public colleges could be included in next year’s proposed budget.
He said Malacañang was in the midst of assembling its 2018 spending request, which will be sent to Congress as early as the fourth week of July.
Without the funds to bankroll it, Recto said, the bill that he authored would suffer delays in its implementation or end up as an unfunded mandate even if signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte.
He said 1.6-million students in 114 national government-funded SUCs and 102 LUCs or local government universities and colleges stood to benefit from the law.
In the House, Rep. Antonio Tinio on Thursday appealed to Duterte to sign into law at the soonest possible time the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education that was recently ratified by Congress to enable the Filipino youth to avail themselves of free tuition in college.
He said the bill was the product of the long-standing campaign for free higher education and a greater budget for education.
“We credit this victory to the collective action of the youth, teachers and other sectors of society who pushed for government to fulfill its mandate to provide accessible and quality education at all levels including tertiary education,” Tinio said.
Metro Manila has the highest number of private schools allowed to increase their tuition and other fees at 183 approved schools followed by Region XI (154 schools), Region III (104 schools), Region V (101 schools) and Region IV-A (91 schools).
There will also be increases in Region X (88 schools), Region VII (86 schools), Region I (74 schools), CAR (32 schools), Region VI (30 schools), Region VIII (13 schools), Region IX (13 schools), Region XII (13 schools), Region II (12 schools), NIR (9 schools), Region IV-B (8 schools) and CARAGA (two schools).