Suspend 'no permit, no exam' policy, CHED appeals

by Carmela Fonbuena,

Posted at Jan 25 2010 03:09 PM | Updated as of Jan 26 2010 01:23 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Friday issued Memorandum Order 02-2010 appealing to private and public schools for flexibility in the implementation of the "no permit, no exam" policy.

"All concerned Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are hereby requested to extend all possible assistance to students with outstanding balances in tuition and other fees due to financial difficulties. HEIs shall extend utmost flexibility in the implementation of the "no permit, no exam" policy they are adopting, if any, and any such policies that prohibit students from taking their periodic or final examination due to unpaid school accounts," according to the memo signed by CHED Chairman Emmanuel Angeles.

The CHED memo was issued in time for the regular college mid-term exams.

CHED proposed that schools can eventually "withhold the release or issuance of their school clearance prior to their graduation until all prior accountabilities are fully settled."

The CHED memo cited as ground the recent economic recession.

"As prices in the world market rise, the cost of basic commodities and services in the country become prohibitive. Education is one of the basic services  that are often affected in times of economic recession," the memo says.

A solon's threat

"This is good news to our students and our parents. The schools are now forced to provide alternatives," said Kabataan Rep. Raymond Palatino.

While Palatino acknowledged that the CHED memo is merely an "appeal" and doesn't provide penalties to the schools, the youth party-list representative said this is a big step.

"Kung dati tahimik ang CHED, ngayon naglabas na sila ng memo. Ang assurance sa atin ng CHED, they will strictly monitor the implementation of the memo," he said.

But Palatino made a threat to schools who will ignore CHED's appeal.

"We can still pursue this through legislation. If they don't follow this memo, we will file in the next Congress as stronger bill. We hope that the public and private schools will be open to the memo. We are not fighting the schools. We just want to balance the interest of the students and the school owners," Palatino said. (