Bill seeks to penalize schools with 'no permit, no exam' policy

Ivy Jean Vibar, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 24 2016 04:10 PM

MANILA – A lawmaker has filed a bill seeking to penalize private and public schools that implement the 'no permit, no exam' policy.

Senate Bill No. 722, the "Anti-No Permit, No Exam Act of 2016," filed by Senator Cynthia Villar late July, prohibits schools from stopping students with unpaid fees in taking their exams.

The 'no permit, no exam policy' is a widespread policy in the Philippines, with most schools demanding a promissory note before students are allowed to participate in exams.

Under the bill, it will also be unlawful for students to be compelled to pay a down payment or first installment equivalent to more than 30% of the total amount of tuition and other school fees for the entire semester or duration of the course.

"Schools should be more compassionate towards students suffering from financial difficulties," Villar said in a statement Wednesday.

Educators found guilty of violating the law will be have to pay a fine of P100,000 to P200,000, the bill suggests.

Students and parents, however, shall be obligated to pay an interest not exceeding 5% per annum, for unpaid tuition and other school fees unless waived by the school.

RIGHTS OF SCHOOLS

Despite making schools kinder to students who are unable to immediately pay tuition, they also have the right to ensure that students will eventually be able to settle their fees.

Under the law, schools can:

  1.      Withhold the release of grades until tuition and other fees are fully paid;
  2.      Deny admission or enrollment of any student with unsettled tuition and other fees; and
  3.      Refuse issuance of a school clearance until all fees are paid.

In 2010, the Commission on Higher Education issued a memorandum prohibiting all higher education institutions from implementing a "No permit, no exam" policy. The Department of Education also appealed to schools to allow students to take exams, so that their studies will not be affected.

Another version of the law was filed by Villar's husband, former Senator Manny Villar in 2013. Another measure previously filed by Senator Edgardo Angara sought to establish a loan program for higher education students to "fine tune" the Anti-No Permit, No Exam Act if it becomes law.