As the country continues to grapple with the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is strongly urging private higher education institutions (HEIs) to implement a “no tuition fee increase policy” for Academic Year (AY) 2021-2022.
Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III made this appeal to private HEIs as he issued the “Interim Guidelines as to the Timeline on the Processing of Applications to Increase Tuition and Other School Fees (TOSF) For AY 2021-2022” posted on the official Facebook page of CHED on Friday, Feb. 26.
“In order to assist the plight of our students and/or their family suffering from the effects of this pandemic, private HEIs are strongly urged to implement a ‘no tuition fee increase policy’ for AY 2021-2022,” De Vera said.
Instead of implementing tuition and other fees increase, De Vera said that HEIs can “recalibrate their existing miscellaneous and other school fees (MOSF) items to cover or accommodate the fees associated with the implementation of flexible learning which commenced” in AY 2020 2021.
Meanwhile, CHED has issued the interim guidelines to “cover the processing of applications to increase” TOSF for AY 2021-2022.
“The adjustment is made in relation to the change of the opening of glasses of most higher education institutions (HEIs) from June to August last Academic Year 2020 -2021,” De Vera explained.
As stated in the general guidelines, De Vera noted that the consultation period – as provided under Section 6.2 of CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 3 s. of series of 2012, has been “adjusted from February 28 to May 28 of the academic year preceding the AY that the intended increase shall take effect.”
Likewise, De Vera noted that the “submission of documents” as provided under Section 7.2 of CMO No. 3 s. of 2012 is also “adjusted on or before April 1” to “on or before July 1” of the year of the HEI’s approved planned tuition and/or other school fees increase shall take effect.
De Vera said that interim guidelines was approved by virtue of CHED CMO No. 4 s. of 2002 or the “Guidelines on the Implementation of Flexible Learning” and the Commission en banc (CEB) Resolution No. 038-2021 issued on Feb. 2, 2021.
In particular, CHED has approved the adjustment of the timelines prescribed in CHED CMO No. 03 s. of 2012 or the “Enhanced Policies, Guidelines and Procedures governing Increases In Tuition and Other Fees, Introduction of New Fees and For Other Purposes.”
De Vera explained that on January 31, 2012, the Commission issued CHED CMO No. 3 s. of 2012 which states the “consultation period for the increase of in tuition fees must be completed not later than February 28 of the academic year preceding the academic year that the intended increases shall take effect.”
To prevent, control and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in HEIs, CHED issued COVID-19 Advisory No. 6 stating that all CHED-recognized private HEIs – regardless of accreditation status – “are allowed to exercise flexibility in determining the extent of adjustments for their approved academic calendar” as provided in the CHED COVID-19 advisory.
However, HEIs are “required to inform the CHED Regional Offices on the changes in their academic calendar, transition plans, and implementation thereof.”
While CHED issued these interim guidelines, De Vera reminded that these may be “amended or superseded by later guidelines” and that these “shall not be considered as amendment” to CMO No. 3 s. of 2012 “but shall have suppletory application only for AY 2021-2022.”