MANILA — Regulatory fees for private schools in Pasig City have been waived by the local government until the resumption of in-person classes to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Vico Sotto announced Sunday the local government has passed Ordinance No. 32, which aims to help private educational institutions and avoid overcrowding in public schools.
"We know private schools are having a difficult time too, and some are in danger of closing. Many of their students can't afford tuition anymore," Sotto said in a Facebook post.
"This puts our public school system in danger of overcrowding," he added.
Under the ordinance, all regulatory fees charged by the local government to private schools offering basic, secondary, tertiary and post-graduate education are waived "up to the resumption of face-to-face learning."
But the waiver of fees, however, "does not mean that private educational institutions shall forego the process of renewing their permits with the local government," according to the ordinance.
Sotto added that city government is also extending scholarship to 3,000 indigent private school students.
The beneficiaries will be identified by school officials, he said.
Some 1.6 million students, from kindergarten up to Senior High School, as well as those with disabilities, have registered in private schools nationwide for the coming school year, data from the Department of Education (DepEd) showed Monday.
The figure is only 37 percent of last year's 4.3 million private school students.
According to the latest DepEd data, 395,004 private school learners have transferred to public schools.
Education officials have attributed the low enrollment in private schools to the COVID-19 pandemic's effects on the livelihood of families.