By Rainne Nocete | August 23, 2023
The Silliman University (SU) administration’s proposed 7% miscellaneous fee increase is still under the approval of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), according to University Treasurer Carol Bartolata.
“Pending notation from the Commission en banc,” CHED notified the university to put the increment on hold.
CHED sent a receipt acknowledging the submission of documents on the proposed increase to the university on June 16.
While the increase cannot be implemented as of now, Bartolata said it will still push through this school year 2023–2024 “only after the approval by CHED.”
As of this writing, the university is still waiting for updates from CHED.
Miscellaneous fee increase rationale
According to Atty. Ebenezer Lim, vice president for finance and operations, the increase was proposed due to “higher prices” in gasoline, manpower, and janitorial services.
The CHED memorandum dated March 29 was referred to when examining the specified average regional inflation rate of 8.4% for the academic year 2023–2024.
“Weighing all the other considerations, the University opted for only a 7% increase,” he said.
Lim added that the increase was supposed to be implemented in the school year 2021–2022, but it did not push through due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
League of Governors consultation
After several exchanges between the administration and the SUSG since the miscellaneous fee hike was announced, a follow-up meeting together with the League of Governors (LOG) was conducted on May 12, at the Student Lounge, Oriental Hall.
In the meeting’s minutes, the consultation with the LOG ended with the governors posing “no further objections” to the proposed miscellaneous fee adjustment.
Concerns about the internet connection, especially from the College of Agriculture, were raised in the open forum of the meeting.
The representatives of the administration responded that the ICT department will be increasing the number of access points inside the buildings, installing wifi access in areas without it, and upgrading distribution switches.
Clarifications on the guidance and library fee increase were also raised.
According to administration representatives, the 99% guidance fee increase will be used to fund the procurement of updated psychological testing materials, answer sheets, and psychoeducational programs to address mental health challenges for students.
The library, which is under renovation with the money donated by the Uytengsu Foundation, Inc., will also use its increase to improve services such as the subscription to Odilo, e-subscriptions like the Philippine E-journal, Integrated Library System, Medical Database, printed books and periodicals, and operating expenses of the libraries.