TFI and other things

whatta day! i woke up at 6, got fetched by mike and we headed to the office. the only productive work that I did for M2Cash was to make the final revision of our Memorandum of Agreement with Robinsons. Gil programmed my thumb print into the new sensor sa door ng office (grabe, we’re so high tech!) lunch time came. i headed to Robinsons afterwards to pick up sana the endorsement letter for Paysetter, as Jenny had emailed but no, she was on leave and she didn’t even endorse the letter nor leave it with anyone for pick up. so frustrated, i went back to tektite. good thing i had no PIL class today so i was able to afford to go back to the office, where i made & finished tita yolly’s reply to the UPLB Staff Housing Office. 6pm came, i went to the new Ecom office to drop off the note for the poor human being i was able to pick for the office kris kringle. then i went to mike’s office in richmonde. we had dinner in cavana with jojit & emma (the black pepper chicken pasta is soooo yummy!), then i had my poor hair trimmed & treated to a 30min spa. afterwards, mike dropped me off at starbucks where faye & i met up to brainstorm re: our stand for the issue of Tuition Fee Increase in UP.

actually, intro lang ang lahat nang yon. coz this blog entry is really about our thoughts on the TFI issue. it’s so uncanny that faye, an economist & the lsg pres & me, an accountant/business person & the lsg vp share the same stand with regard to this issue. our stand is the same as that of our undergraduate colleges: we are pro TFI. why? read on and find out:

• The methodology used for the proposal took into consideration only inflation rates without comparing the actual market cost of education in the Philipines (e.g. professors’ salaries)
• The admin is merely setting a direction, a roadmap. They are welcome to proposals.
• We do not contest that the present proposals need fine-tuning with regard to details of implementation.
• There is definitely a need for a counter-proposal which centers on the implementation of increase of tuition and other fees, not on the ideology of the concept of the increase, itself.
• Examples of implementing details are: staggered increase, installment payment scheme, better internal controls, more efficient & effective system of application for STFAP.

• As students of UP, we want to preserve the quality of UP education.
• Urgency of the “increase” considering the increasing cost and stagnant quality of UP education vis a vis universities abroad, considering that we are THE country’s premier state university .
• Beyond a mass oriented education, the issue should be: what kind of education are we making available to the masses?
• The proposal is not only an increase in the amount of tuition fees but is also a rebracketing of the STFAP to make it more efficient and more attuned to its goals of democratization of tertiary education in UP. (Show brackets)
• With the increase, the University will have more capacity to provide loans and scholarships to students, stipend to STFAP Bracket 1, professorial chair and research grants to faculty and facilities that would make our university globally competitive

• Political workings of Congress: We know the Constitution mandates Congress to allocate the highest percentage of the government budget to education. But reality is, it is still the Congress which possesses the discretion re: allocation of this particular budgetary item.
• As it is now, we are already receiving more than 50% of the government’s budget for education. Reality, however is that there are more than a hundred state universities in the country today.
• UP has experienced budget cuts since the late 80’s. Yet every year, the UP presidents continue to attend budget hearings in Congress and find ways and means to lobby for sufficient budget. This is notwithstanding mass efforts from students who rally outside Congress year after year.
• Simply rallying for greater state subsidy is not an assurance that we will be granted our desired budget.
• The UP administration has tried to find other means of closing the budget deficit via utilization of idle assets.
• Allowing the increase does not mean giving up the fight for state subsidy

• Historical perspective: UP was granted assets by the government, with the objective of eventually making the university self-sufficient.

• It’s been a while since the last increase.
• The increase is a form of direct tax on the students and their parents

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