Supreme Court sought to stop tuition hike

Atty. Terry Ridon, Kabataan Partylist President. Photo courtesy of CENPEG
Atty. Terry Ridon, Kabataan Partylist President. Photo courtesy of CENPEG

LEGAZPI CITY, 29May2013 – Several youth groups led by Kabataan Partylist along with students from various colleges and universities filed a petition in the Supreme Court to stop the implementation of the newly-approved hikes in 354 tertiary schools nationwide.

In the petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition filed by youth groups today, youth and student leaders asked the high court to declare the newly-approved increases in tuition and other fees invalid for failure to being subjected to “reasonable regulation and supervision,” as stipulated in Article XIV Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution.

Specifically, the petition questions the constitutionality of Sec. 42 of Batas Pambansa No. 232 or the Education Act of 1982 and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum Order No. 3 series of 2012 – the two of which are the basis for approval of new and higher fees in tertiary schools – as “both law and regulation does not constitute reasonable regulation and supervision of all educational institutions as required by the 1987 Constitution.”

The petition also calls on the Supreme Court to declare invalid all increases in tuition and other school fees that were based on the BP 232 and CMO 3 even in the past years.

“The petitioners also ask the Honorable Court, pending a final resolution on this petition to issue a preliminary prohibitory injunction and/or a Temporary Restraining Order, prohibiting the respondents, and anyone acting under their authority, stead, or behalf, from implementing the approved increases in tuition and other school fees,” part of the petition read.

Respondents for the case include CHED, and several schools that increased tuition for the incoming academic year, notably the University of Santo Tomas, University of the East Caloocan and Adamson University.

The petition comes right after the CHED en banc approved 354 out of 451 tuition hike applications (see attachment for full list of schools with fee increases) last Monday.

“The youth sector has always been at the forefront of the fight against unabated tuition hikes in the country. This time around, we are determined to put an end on illegal and unconstitutional tuition increases once and for all by exhausting all means – both legally and in the parliamentary of the streets,” said complainant-lawyer Terry Ridon, Kabataan Partylist president and counsel for the petitioners.

“For years, unsound tuition policies have transmogrified higher education into its current deregulated nature, and it will only continue if we don’t strike down the laws and regulations that allow such,” Ridon added.

“Policies that merely serve as a stamp pad for approving hikes and are powerless in controlling the actual tuition rate in the country are unconstitutional and should therefore be expunged, with tuition hikes approved using the said policies rendered illegal,” the youth lawyer said.



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