Representatives of students, faculty, administrative staff, and executive officials of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) officially submitted the University’s proposed tuition fee adjustments to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Friday, January 27, 2023.
The requested adjustments in reimbursement rates charged to CHED’s Unified Financial Assistance System (UniFAST) program cover the true cost of undergraduate education at PLM, with fees last set five years ago with the passage of Republic Act No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.
Current reimbursement rates at P585 per unit for the College of Physical Therapy and P293 per unit for all other undergraduate programs are unable to cover the true cost of education in the University following major adjustments in physical and digital infrastructure due to the pandemic, as well as the high inflation rate.
PLM, through the Board of Regents, is looking to raise the UniFAST reimbursement rate to a maximum of P1,200 per unit per student as well as the revision of laboratory fees into a three-tier scheme: P300 for enrollees in courses that require basic equipment, P450 for those under programs requiring special programs for hands-on instruction, and P600 for those enrolled in courses that need special equipment and programs for applied training.
PLM officials have clarified in the series of consultation meetings with stakeholders that undergraduate students who are within the maximum residency requirement or MRR, referring to the number of years to complete academic requirements to obtain a bachelor’s degree, will continue to enjoy tuition-free education, with all expenses covered by the national government and the City Government of Manila.
Five consultation sessions were held between January 16 to 25 to explain the urgency of the tuition fee adjustment with members of the PLM community, in accordance with CHED procedure.
“We are hopeful that CHED through its Chairman Prospero De Vera, its commissioners, and Director Paras will understand the plight of state universities like us in the face of elevated inflation through the years and the need to invest more for quality tertiary education,” President Leyco said.
“We appeal for greater state support so that PLM can sustain and enhance its legacy of providing access to high quality education to the Filipino youth, as evidenced by PLM’s strong performances in licensure examinations across professions,” he added.
The proposed fee adjustments garnered strong support among PLM sectors, with the heads of the Supreme Student Council, faculty association, and employees’ association accompanying University officials for the CHED visit.
Additional funds which the University will potentially receive will be allotted to additional library resources, new equipment for laboratories, facility upgrades, and the hiring of full-time professors across academic units.