Invited by the SAMAHAN Central Board to discuss the proposed tuition and other school fees increase, Finance head Jimmy Delgado emphasized that the Academic Year (AY) 2019-2020 would be the most difficult year of the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) Main Campus.
“I have to be honest with you, next school year would be the most difficult year of our campus kasi mawawala ang Senior High School [to be transferred to Bangkal Campus]. The breakeven number of students in this campus is 6500, but this coming 2019, we will go down to 5000,” he said.
Providing background of the university’s need for tuition increase, Delgado added that the university is a non-profit educational institution with no private investors.
“We don’t have private investors in this institution. It’s you [students], who are our investors. You’re the ones paying for whatever expenses that we have in this campus,” he said.
“So, the only way for us to survive is to increase actual enrollment kasi may drastic na changes next school year kapag hindi tumaas yung enrollment. Sabi nga ni father, from 2700 first year students increase natin to 3500,” he added.
Shutdown of Buildings
To address this drawback, Delgado shared the administrator’s proposal of closing down some of the buildings in the campus to lessen the expenses if the projected number of enrollees for the next AY will not be met.
“The hard decision we proposed to Fr. Tabora [is the] closure of Thibault, Jubilee, Wieman except the library, Dotterweich, and Del Rosario, puro padlock yun. Kailangan naming gawin to cut the cost, janitors, security guards, electricity, and water bills,” Delgado said.
The only fully operational
building in the campus next AY, as Delgado emphasized, would be the Finster
“Ang open is Finster. Kung kulang ang Finster? Canisius. Kung kulang ang Canisius? Bellarmine. Pero kung matutuloy yung gusto ni father na 3500 yung first year college, aabot tayo ng 6500 then open lahat yung building,” he explained.
The proposed tuition increase of
seven percent for the AY 2019-2020 is still under the approval of the
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the board of administrators.
According to him, the mandate of CHED was to administer 70 percent of the seven percent tuition increase to the salaries and wages of the staff and employees of the university.
However, Delgado said that 99 percent instead of 70 percent would be allotted to the salaries and wages of the staff and employees due to the high inflation rate and the increase of the minimum wage as mandated by the government.
“One of the main reason na bakit tumataas ang expenses is because we have increased in salaries of our staffs and employees. And why do we need to increase them? Practically because of inflation rate and if we do not increase salaries matatamaan yung mga teachers and staff sa inflation- they cannot afford anymore to live on a daily basis,” he shared.
He further discussed that the increase will also help the teaching staff perform their duties effectively.
“If you increase salaries siyempre parang kayo maiincreasan ng allowance ganahan kayo mag-aral tataas iyong grades mo. Sila, pag increasan mo yung salaries and benefits siyempre mawawalan na yung problema ang mga faculty natin sa mga expenses and they will perform their jobs properly,” he said.
Other School Fees increase
During the forum, the Student Activities Fees (SAF) and the Ateneo Career Center and Alumni Hub (ACCAH) fee was also proposed to be increased.
According to OSA Director Theresa Eliab, the student activity fees are proposed to be increased from Php 100 to Php 500.
“Honestly speaking, 100 is no longer enough. If it is enough then we would not propose,” she said.
“We feel that there is a need to increase for us to be able to survive and mount quality student activities. This money that we are proposing will not go to the university but will automatically be appropriated to the different divisions like campus clubs and organizations and major activities that are run mainly by SAMAHAN,” she added.
However, as per discussion,
members of SAMAHAN believe that an increase to Php 500 would be too big.
With this, Eliab gave the student body until February 8 to provide a counter proposal to the increase of SAF.
Norman Lou Padilla, the head of Ateneo Career Center and Alumni Hub asked for funding from the students to improve the performance of their duties.
Padilla proposed a payment of Php 250 every semester from every student. However, SAMAHAN raised that it would be unfair for non-graduating students to pay because they will not benefit from the ACCAH.
Brought about by the request of the SAMAHAN to have an open consultation prior to the formal meeting on January 30, student organization heads and cluster representatives convened at the 8th floor of Community Center yesterday afternoon to check and raise questions regarding the proposed tuition and other school fees increase next academic year.