April 2, 2023

The city council will invite representatives of the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to clarify concerns raised during their session about proposals on the grant of discounts to students affected by the enhanced community quarantine.

Approved during the council’s April 20 session are the resolutions penned by councilors Levy Lloyd Orcales and Vladimir Cayabas.

Orcales’ proposal requested all private universities in the city to study the possibility of refunding school fees that remain unused by the students due to the suspension of classes in the wake of the coronavirus threat.

The proposal of Cayabas requested Baguio-based schools, universities, colleges, and training centers to grant tuition discounts to all currently enrolled students to serve as compensation for the disruption of classes due to the enhanced community quarantine.

He said grant of tuition discounts should not entail loss of salaries of regular employees in various schools.

However, Councilor Philian Weygan-Allan, whose family is known to operate a school in the city, said that salaries of teachers and other personnel come from fees paid by students. Without these, personnel of these institutions will not be paid as well.

Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda added many private schools were not able to apply for the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program of the Department of Labor and Employment, which could have provided financial aid to affected employees in learning institutions.

On March 18, the CHED appealed to private higher education institutions to find ways to assist students either by cancelling the collection of fees, suspending penalties of late payments, or allowing payment on staggered basis without compromising the salaries of their faculty and school personnel.

“This will alleviate the concerns of students who are unable to pay because of the travel restrictions or the projected loss of income during the quarantine period,” CHED Chair Prospero de Vera III said in his open letter to school administrators. – Jordan G. Habbiling