CHED to schools: comply to ensure release of students’ benefits

Published June 10, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Alexandria Dennise San Juan

At least 264 private colleges and universities have not yet submitted requirements needed for processing and releasing the tertiary education subsidy (TES) which helps student beneficiaries in paying their school fees, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said.


CHED Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III on Wednesday said they have been getting inquiries and complaints regarding the delay on the TES benefit distribution which amounts to P60,000 per academic year.

Following this, the CHED reminded these higher education institutions (HEIs) to immediately complete the requirements and submit to the Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC) to start the processing and disbursing of TES stipends to the 6,628 qualified grantees.

“We have been getting a lot of inquiries and complaints from our communication channels and social media platforms on the delays of the TES benefit distribution. We understand these frustrations and we recognize the situation of some of our students and their families during this COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

It is the PEAC that processes the TES billings of private schools and endorses these billing claims to CHED and Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) for payment.

Last month, De Vera recalled that a total of 120,798 grantees from 404 private HEIs nationwide already received their TES for the first semester of Academic Year 2019-2020 after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released P3.6 billion to the Commission to cover the partial payment of the program benefits.

According to De Vera, CHED was able to download the TES grants through the regional offices to compliant private HEIs even during the enhanced community quarantine in many areas.

Due to the restrictions of the lockdown and other issues such as poor internet connection and access in transportation, some private HEIs have encountered problems in giving the subsidy to their students, he explained.

The higher education chief also said the DBM has already informed the Commission that the remaining TES funds for Academic Year 2019-2020 will soon be downloaded.

Under the program, grantees who are included in the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Listahanan 2.0 or those who are residing in cities and towns without public universities can use the subsidy to pay for their tuition and miscellaneous fees and other school expenses.

‘No reduction of TES funds’

“The Commission clarifies the statement released earlier regarding the P15 billion contribution to fund the operations and response measures related to COVID-19. There is no reduction of TES funds because of the pandemic,” he said.

The CHED chairman also assured that the funding for Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, including those for TES, is fully funded for the first and second semesters of academic year 2019-2020 and the first semester of academic year 2020-2021.

The Commission earlier clarified that only new applications for merit scholarships or educational support based on academic performances would be temporarily suspended due to budget constraints amid the pandemic.

While other grant programs such as the reimbursement of tuition and miscellaneous fees in state and local universities and colleges, the TES, and the Student Loan Program will continue to be received by student beneficiaries as the allocated budget remains intact.