Student organizations protested against tuition and other fee increase (TOFI), holding a rally at the Freedom Park, Roxas Avenue last June 16, 2017.
In the protest “Youth, Speak Out!” student activists coming from different schools including Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU), University of the Philippines – Mindanao (UP), Assumption College of Davao (ACD), University of Immaculate Conception (UIC), and University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) demanded to stop the ‘commercialization’ of education in the country.
“Pinakita sa budget ngayon na itinaas ang [budget] sa edukasyon. Ngunit ‘di ‘yun nag-re-reflect sa mga public school, sa state colleges,” Omar Mañigo, spokesperson of League of Filipino Students (LFS), said in an interview right before his turn to speak in public.
For the academic year 2017-2018, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) approved tuition fee increase proposed by 32 schools in Davao Region, causing student activists to question and protest.
“Commercialized at mahal na masyado ang tuition fee ng mga Atenista. Sinasakripisyo ang welfare ng mga colleges para lang sa senior high school. Nagataas ang ating tuition fee, pero hindi natin nakikita ang improvement sa college,” Mañigo commented.
Last academic year 2016-2017, Ateneo de Davao University implemented a 5.67% increase in tuition fee and 2.31% increase in other school fees. This year, the university’s proposed another 5% increase which was recently approved by the CHED despite apparent general discontent.
The protest was participated by student activist groups including LFS, Kabataan Partylist, Anakbayan, and College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP).