The College Editor’s Guild of the Philippines would like to rebut some of the statements made by CHED Regional Director Ramon Santiago in the news article that appeared in the June 04-05 issue of Sunstar Baguio.
In the article entitled “Student exodus continues,” Santiago said that the main reason behind the exodus of students from private to public schools is the improving quality of facilities and programs in the State Universities and Colleges (SUCs). CEGP firmly denies the validity of this statement. It stands by its earlier statements that the main reason behind this exodus is the increasing cost of tuition and miscellaneous fees in private schools and NOT the improving quality of education provided by SUCs. It is even ironic that although SUCs strive to sustain the current quality of education they are providing among its students, they are resorting to increasing fees instead of relying mainly on state subsidy. With their demands for higher budget perennially denied by the government, SUCs are compelled to ask their students to pay more just to keep the schools operating.
However, the annual TOFIs do not guarantee a quality education. In SUCs, complaints about sub-par facilities, faculty instruction and shortage of class offerings during enrollments which still exist. Recently, in the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College, students and teachers protested against old issues regarding teachers’ pay and school policies which the past and present administrations are yet to resolve. For instance, the Board of Trustees was said to have approved in 2003 an increase from 75 to 180 pesos per hour in the honorarium of part-time instructors but this is not yet implemented today. Moreover, the students question the lack of tangible results for the continual increase of library fees which they have been paying for all throughout the years. These only prove that the quality of education being provided in SUCs, despite the torrent of fees increase happening in them, is still far from how education should be provided in this country. Ultimately, many are forced to transfer from private schools to SUCs because of the relatively cheaper cost of education and not the improving facilities and program in the latter.