MANILA - University of the Philippines Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan has clarified that the collection of tuition and other fees for the first semester of academic year 2017-2018 is only suspended.
In a statement posted on UP Diliman's Facebook page, Tan said news that UPD will no longer collect tuition for the entire school year is a "misinterpretation" of their decision.
"I need to clarify that this is a misinterpretation of our decision to suspend collection of any kind of fee during the ongoing pre-registration for the 1st semester, 2017-2018," Tan said.
He added that the suspension of tuition collection is not unique to UPD, and is being implemented in other state universities and colleges (SUCs) in accordance with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)'s tuition subsidy scheme.
"Under this scheme, undergraduate students will be prioritized by need and extended subsidies from a fund which for UP is P183 million for the semester. This fund will not be sufficient to cover all students, and is limited to tuition fees alone, meaning even the poorest students will still have to pay miscellaneous fees," Tan said.
Because the subsidy won't be able to cover all the students' expenses, Tan encouraged students to apply for the tuition subsidy.
"UP Diliman is following CHED guidelines, and is at the stage of calling students to apply for this subsidy, which requires documentation, mainly income tax returns. The number of applications will allow us to better assess the needs for subsidies, and to look for additional sources of support, if needed," he said.
Aside from the later registration and start of classes in UPD, Tan said the decision to suspend the collection of tuition was also based on the bill on universal access to tertiary education that has yet to be turned into law.
"This development means UP has to be even more careful about collection of payments. We do not want to collect fees and then have to refund, or worse, to ask for additional payments," Tan said.
"To reiterate, we have only suspended collection of payments for undergraduates. We support the calls for the passage of the universal access to tertiary education bill and the provision of adequate funds to implement whatever subsidies there will be. We will continue to adjust our registration procedures as needed," he added.
Tan earlier said UPD will not collect tuition for the coming semester.