From around thirty members from the three political parties, including their standard bearers, who marched to call for a genuine consultation on tuition and other school fees increase (TOFI) days before the 2016 SAMAHAN elections, only around 10 students joined the Nationwide University Walk-out as protest against tuition fee and other increases (TOFI) last Wednesday.
At around 3 p.m., Ateneans gathered inside the university opposing the proposed 5% increase both in the tuition and miscellaneous fee for the next school year.
During the start of the said protest, Ivy Jean Tupas from the Buklurang Atenista explained that there are few days left before the final submission of the TOFI proposal to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), but the signature campaign against the said increase is still ongoing. She also encouraged students to participate the nationwide walk-out.
Meggy Zea Monterverde, also from Buklurang Atenista, and Juno Martin Vegas, from the League of the Filipino Students and an Ateneo de Davao alumnus, gave their speeches, discussing the questionable or dubious increases in other fees.
Subsequently, they participated in the protest in front of the CHED regional office with students from other universities in Davao and various progressive groups, where they called to junk other school fess increase and stop the “privatization of education.”
“For the past six years under Aquino and CHED, education has become more and more inaccessible to youth and students through unprecedented annual increases in tuition and other school fees,” Vegas said in their press release.
He added that they called on CHED to reject all TOFI application for the next school year.
“Know what you are paying for and if it is worth it,” said Tupas during an interview. “Huwag matakot manindigan dahil ang edukasyon ay ating karapatan. Huwag hayaang maging biktima sa pasakit na hatid ng TOGI. Sana, ipaalam sa atin, bilang tayo ang major stakeholder ng paaralan at an gating mga magulang ang siyang higit na maaapektuhan sa nakaambang pagtataas ng matrikula at iba pang bayarin sa eskwela.”
Thousands of students and progressive youth groups from different regions also staged a walkout protest, calling for President Aquino to freeze tuition increases for the upcoming school year. Students from the University of Sto. Tomas(UST) marched from Espana to Chino Roces bridge.
Ateneo de Davao University is one of the estimated 400 universities and colleges nationwide that will increase tuition and other school fees for the next academic year.