February 28, 2024 (5:04 PM)

4 min read

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Photo by Toni Anne Albarico

With a high inflation rate of 6.5% as of December 2023, increased government-mandated contributions, and facilities expansion and repair, the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) proposed a 7% increase in the tuition and miscellaneous fees to meet the expenses estimated in the next school year 2024-2025.

Incoming first-year students may expect an increased tuition rate of 1,652.05 per unit, while second-year students will have to pay 1,583.45 per unit from the past rate of 1,479.85, and third- to fifth-year students will have a 1,517.75 per unit tuition fee.

As predicted in their enrollment statistics, Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Jimmy Delgado hoped to achieve their projected number of enrollees of 8,251 to reach the break-even point and have enough budget to cover the expenses for the next school year.

Apart from the enrollment rate and the new development in the Davao Region, as recently approved by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Regulatory Board-XI (RTWRB-XI), minimum wage workers will be a Php 38.00 daily increase. Additionally, due to the recent increases in government-mandated contributions, such as those for Pag-IBIG, Philhealth, and Social Security System (SSS), employees’ salaries will increase by 5%.

“We hope to give our employees a higher take home salary,” Academic Vice President Gina Montalan said during the multi-sectoral consultation held in AdDU last February 23. 

Management widens facility development, repairs

The return of face-to-face activities, such as classes, events, and student activities, has resulted in a 7% increase in all miscellaneous fees except the energy fee to be increased by 10% due to in-person activities, the increased demand for charging stations, and the 15% increase in electricity costs.

A 20% hike in development fees is also expected due to the growing need for maintenance, repairs, and upgrades of school buildings, including classrooms, labs, food courts, Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) air conditioners, replacement of the Jubilee elevator, and other amenities.

“We have to renovate kasi ‘di pwedeng ma-discount yung experience ng students natin when they come to Ateneo,” Delgado said.

Students also expressed concerns about Wi-Fi connectivity, which the management planned to invest significantly in IT infrastructure. This included installing additional Ruckus Wi-Fi access points, installing network cabling in classrooms, paying high subscription fees for Microsoft, MS Office, Sophos, and other software, and upgrading and replacing servers and computers. These costs added up to a 200% increase in the IT fee.

According to the AVP, replacing or removing Daigler or Moodle with a different server is impossible because doing so would increase costs. However, it is proposed that learning modes will continue to be improved. 

“Our faculty members have invested much of their efforts to have this courseware. Whether we like it or not, the courseware has also helped both the faculty and the students to access learning materials,” Montalan said.

Students worry about exclusive fees

SAMAHAN Treasurer Michelle Cunanan and Accountancy Cluster Representative Vince Canonigo expressed a concern expressed by students about paying for something they cannot benefit from or feel the new improvements because only a particular cluster benefits from these developments

“All our fees are shared, we don’t segregate by cluster. As long as it benefits all students in the Jacinto Campus and the budget proposal is from Jacinto, all fees are shared,” Delgado responded.

As Montalan stated, the fees will be shared as one community, but there are some limitations, such as budget restraints, which will not accommodate everyone.

College Faculty Union Officer Hadji Balajadia also emphasized the need for communication and communication teams to remedy the perception problems, such as deprivation and inequity, with the right information.

“It is also important to communicate perhaps our priority development for the year so that our students can appreciate it and would understand and grasp that we can’t really cover all areas of development.”

As for requests to have a session to discuss concerns about adjustments to the tuition proposal, the management is open to discussions.

“This is the proposal of the management, the budget will be approved by the board in May, but the proposed tuition fee increase and miscellaneous fees will be submitted to CHED before April 1 so if you want more discussion, we are open to more discussion but before the deadline of CHED.”

However, proposed changes in the budget will take a while due to the need for consultation with the other service units.

Additional new fees are also to be expected, such as Alumni Fees, Career Center Fees, and Buklod Atenista, which will be incorporated as an internal fee; however, all planned fees are still pending, but proposals have already been submitted and are awaiting the President’s approval.

If the proposed increase in tuition fees is approved, it will be effective starting on June 1, 2024.



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