(JUL. 12)—There has been news going around that UP Diliman will no longer collect tuition fees this schoolyear.
I need to clarify that this is a misinterpretation of our decision to suspend collection of any kind of fee during the ongoing pre-registration for the 1st semester, 2017-2018.
The suspension of tuition collection is not unique to UP Diliman. Most of the other state universities and colleges (SUCs) did this as well because of the CHED tuition subsidy scheme. Under this scheme, undergraduate students will be prioritized by need and extended subsidies from a fund which for UP is P183 million for the semester. This fund will not be sufficient to cover all students, and is limited to tuition fees alone, meaning even the poorest students will still have to pay miscellaneous fees.
UP Diliman is following CHED guidelines, and is at the stage of calling students to apply for this subsidy, which requires documentation, mainly income tax returns. The number of applications will allow us to better assess the needs for subsidies, and to look for additional sources of support, if needed.
Most of other SUCs had their registration and start of classes in June, when only the CHED scheme was in place. UP faces a different situation with a later registration and start of classes. In addition to the CHED scheme, we now have a bill on universal access to tertiary education that has passed a bicameral committee. This bill is more extensive, covering tuition and miscellaneous fees.
This development means UP has to be even more careful about collection of payments. We do not want to collect fees and then have to refund, or worse, to ask for additional payments.
To reiterate, we have only suspended collection of payments for undergraduates. We support the calls for the passage of the universal access to tertiary education bill and the provision of adequate funds to implement whatever subsidies there will be. We will continue to adjust our registration procedures as needed.
Dr. Michael L. Tan
Chancellor, UP Diliman