ILOILO City – Research findings of Professor Ma. Rosario Victoria de Guzman of West Visayas State University’s College of Mass Communications revealed increasing number of students becoming regular patrons of motels and lodging houses as final exam approaches.
“We cannot deny the fact that some people sell their bodies to pay for their needs but students engaging in ‘survival sex’ to pay the high cost of tuition and other school fees collected by the schools especially as final exam approaches clearly manifests a commercialized Philippine education system,” Anakbayan spokersperson Bryan Bosque said.
At this time around, a total of 14 colleges and universities in Western Visayas are proposing to increase tuition and other school fees for school year 2015-2016. Seven of these colleges and universities are in Iloilo City, two each in Negros Occidental province and its capital city, Bacolod, and one each in Aklan, Antique and Capiz provinces.
According to Dr. Rex Casiple, Western Visayas Assistant Regional Director of Commission on Higher Education (CHED-6), some of these schools have asked that they be allowed for a minimum of 10% increase in tuition.
“If these schools would be allowed their proposed tuition hikes, the parents will be further burdened for the additional cost of their children’s education amidst the soaring prices of basic commodities but low wages,” Bosque said.
“In the middle of this issue, the government is doing nothing. Commercialization of education is perpetuated by the government abandoning its financial responsibility and pave the way to privatize education and leave the fate of the students to private educational capitalists that increases tuition fees and other school fees at unprecedented rate which forces students to engage in anti-social activities such as ‘survival sex’ or even commits suicide,” Bosque added.
Last month, Rosanna Sanfuego, a freshman at the Cagayan State University (CSU) committed suicide for her alleged failure to take the midterm examinations due to financial constraints.
On March 13, a few days before the second death year anniversary of UP Manila student Kristel Tejada whose failure also to pay her tuitions ‘pulled the trigger’ that took her own life, Anakbayan Panay and other youth groups and students from different colleges and universities on Panay Island will walk out of their classes and march for education, and demand truth and accountability from the US-BS Aquino government.
“We hold the US-BS Aquino government accountable for continued denial and neglect of the students’ rights to free and quality education. We want no more of the likes of Rosanna and Kristel whose untimely deaths were brought by the system that everyday crushes the Filipino youth under the ruthless profit-worshiping educational machine,” he said./