There are instances when students in general cannot easily find payments for their school fees due to several reasons especially that life today is facing economic shock.
But thanks to the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education that approved a bill on Monday allowing students to sit for exams even if they have unpaid school fees.
As per ABS-CBN News report, the panel authorized changes to the original Kabataan party-list measure that seeks to sanction the “no permit, no exam” policy or any other regulation that forbids students from sitting for their periodic or final exams because of unpaid tuition and other fees.
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“It is understandable that you have students or parents who cannot pay on time, especially when the schedules of exams are fast approaching,” Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel said, sponsor of the measure.
Since the government already covers public schools and colleges, the bill will also apply to private schools.
The following actions were initially intended to be deemed prohibited by Manuel’s House Bill 1160.
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•Disallowing students with due and unpaid tuition and other school fees from taking the midterm or final examination
• Requiring students to secure a permit to take the midterm or final examination the school authorities prior to the administration of midterm periodic or final examination
• Compelling students to pay upon enrollment a downpayment or first installment equivalent to more than thirty percent (30%) of the total amount of tuition and other school fees for the entire semester or duration of the course
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The original proposal intended to impose a fine of not less than P20,000 but not more than P50,000 on any school official or employee, including deans, coordinators, advisers, professors, instructors, and other concerned people, who were found guilty of breaking any of the unlawful acts.
Additionally, it would impose a punishment of not less than P100,000 but not more than P1 million on any school administration found to have violated any of the above unlawful acts.
“Ang personal opinion ko rito dapat talaga we allow students to take their exams even if they have not fully paid their tuition,” Committee chairman Mark Go said as a support for the bill.
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As a way to ensure that students will pay so they can continue operating, some schools attempted to argue on their right to enforce the policy.
“Private institutions also must be allowed to require permits and clearances… We have to give the students the sense of accountability and responsibility and so with their parents to be reminded that when they send their students to private school, they also have the obligation to be conscious about their payables,” said Association of Local Colleges and Universities executive director Raymundo Arcega via ABS-CBN News report.
“Kawawa din po kasi yung private kasi wala ho silang pinanggagalingan ng kanilang pinapasweldo sa kanilang mga teachers,” Arcega added.
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Go argued that there were alternative means to ensure payment that didn’t include keeping students from completing tests.
“I myself being an owner of a private school, we experience that problem. What we do is we give the exam to the students but hold onto their credentials,” added Batangas Rep. Maria Theresa Collantes.
Go proposed a compromise in which the title would be altered and all contributions would be taken into account when drafting the measure that would be presented to the entire House for consideration.
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The bill was adopted subject to style and modifications. So far, the bill has not yet been made available in a clear copy.
Source: ABS-CBN News
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