Students storm Palace gates to call on Aquino to stop tuition hikes, scrap Marcos-era Education Act of 1982

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As the deadline for the filing of tuition and other fees increase applications with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) end today, yout group Anakbayan stormed Gate 7 of Malacañang to call on President BS Aquino to stop all tuition and other fees hikes.

“The tuition hike proposals tendered by schools with CHED today are good as approved regardless of student opposition as long as they handed the required documents under CHED Memo Order 3 Series of 2012,” said Anakbayan National Chair Vencer Crisostomo.

He said CHED has no teeth to curtail tuition increases and go after profiteering schools because of the continuing implementation of the Martial Law-era “Education Act of 1982” which allows schools to set tuition rates without any government regulation.

“In all his speeches, the President always hides behind the legacy of Daddy Ninoy and Mommy Cory while railing against Marcoses. And yet he himself continues to pursue the Marcosian policy of blatant commercialization of education,” said Crisostomo.

Anakbayan is calling for the immediate scrapping of “Education Act of 1982” and the policy of education deregulation. The group added that the president has the power to stop these unjust tuition and other fee hikes if he really wants to by issuing an executive order for a tuition moratorium.

“Ang problema sa pangulong ito, kapag pabor sa kaibigan niyang malalaking negosyo lusot agad ang anumang pagtaas. Pero kapag kahilingan ng karaniwang mamamayan ang ang daming palusot,” said Crisostomo in reference to the P2,000 SSS pension hike.

The youth leader said average annual tuition rates have risen from P30,000-50,000 in 2010 when Aquino came to power to as high as P60,000-100,000 this year near the end of his term.

He said the soaring cost of education under Aquino has pushed 5 students to take their own lives out of desperation. Earlier this month, Central Bicol State University of Agriculture agriculture student Jessaven Lagatic committed suicide after losing his scholarship.

Thousands of students across the nation walked out of their classes last February 24 to push their demand for Aquino to stop the commercialization of education. Another campus walkout is set on March 11.

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