DAVAO CITY – They are not bitter about love, but using a play of words this Valentines Day, student activists launched a campaign against tuition increase.
Youth group Anakbayan today announced that they will hold protest actions across the country on February 24 and March 11 to show their opposition against tuition hikes with their campaign, #AyokongMagmahal.
Magmahal is a Filipino word which can be used to mean love someone or increase in price.
Protest actions will start on Friday, February 12, said Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.
Crisostomo said they condemn Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Patricia Licuanan for “belittling student protests against the rising cost of education by saying it is still too early to determine the number of universities that will increase tuition and other fees this year.”
“While we speak thousands of youth are dropping out of school because of the expensive education. We don’t have Licuanan’s privilege to dilly-dally before we take action. Our point is simple, we don’t want an increase in tuition,” said Crisostomo in an emailed statement.
Anakbayan said that “this wait-and-see attitude of Licuanan is typical of the Aquino administration’s pampered and haughty bureaucrats who are heartless to the plight of the Filipino people, in this case the Filipino youth and students.”
“How can Licuanan say that student protests against tuition and other fees hike are premature when in the past six years under Aquino, CHED has done nothing but approve proposals for tuition and other fee increases that comes under its jurisdiction?” said Crisostomo.
He said tuition rates and the profits of private universities have doubled from P30,000-P50,000 to P60,000-P100,000 annually during the term of President Benigno Aquino III “with CHED functioning as a mere rubber stamp to legitimize the school fee increases”.
Crisostomo said they have monitored over 400 universities and colleges which are expected to hike fees. (davaotoday.com)