MANILA - The promise of free tuition drew a record number of applicants for the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) on Monday, the last day of submission of application forms for Metro Manila private high schools.
UP Vice President for Public Affairs Dr. Jose Dalisay, Jr. said the number of applicants went up from 103,000 to 167,000 for academic year 2019-2020.
He added that the increase in number is due to the free tuition policy in the university.
In comparison, only about 10,000 students took the exam for academic year 2016-2017, down from the average of 81,500 examinees in previous years. This was due to the implementation of the K-12 system, which added two years of senior high school in the education curriculum.
In a DZMM interview, Dalisay urged parents and students applying for the UPCAT to use courier service and drop boxes to submit their forms.
"Nagtayo na ng dropbox para bagsakan na lang ng mga forms. Bibigyan na lang silang resibo," he said.
"Basta naka-stamp na ngayong araw ipinadala, considered na within the deadline ito," he added.
According to Dalisay, the crowd in the campus is "unnecessary."
"This is unnecessary crowd. Kung binabasa lang ng mga taong mabuti yung mga patakaran, ang linaw linaw doon na pwede namang i-courier. Hindi naman nila ginawa," he said.
"Ganito karami pala ang mga ayaw maniwala sa courier at drop box," Dalisay added.
The deadline of submission of application forms for Metro Manila private high schools is July 30, while the submission for Metro Manila public schools is on August 3.
Submission of applications from regional private and public schools is until August 10.
Drop boxes will also be made available on those dates.
UP also said it will accomodate everyone who lined up for permits.
"Paninindigan ng UP na kung sino ang nandito ngayon ay seserbisyohan, one way or the other," Dalisay said.
"Pero nakikiusap nga kami, nakikiusap pa rin ako na kung pwede, itong mga nagsisiksikan dito ay pwedeng i-courier niyo na lang o i-drop box niyo," he added.