The country’s Catholic schools joined an appeal for the immediate release of a government subsidy, which helps qualified college students shoulder school fees.
In an open letter, the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines and other private schools lamented that the school year 2020-2021 is almost over and yet “no student beneficiaries has received” the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES).
“The delay is no longer acceptable as many private higher education institutions, its students, and faculty and other school personnel continue to suffer the economic impact of the pandemic,” they said.
TES is a grant-aid program of the government to support the cost of tertiary education of students who are enrolled in public and private higher education institutions.
The program is under the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST).
But they said the law was intended to subsidize the tuition fees and other costs of education of students at the beginning of the school year.
CEAP said they support the open letter because many of its member schools are affected by the delayed release of TES.
The private educational institutions said the “continued failure” of UniFAST to fulfil its mandate “could greatly tarnish this important piece of legislation operationalizing the complementary roles of public and private sectors in the Philippine higher education system, which its authors and the current administration have worked hard for.”
“We reiterate our appeal for urgent action on behalf of our student grantees and our stakeholders to release the TES for students in private higher education institutions,” they said.