Global alliance of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and families Migrante International today expressed full support to calls for a tuition moratorium in light of the Commission on Higher Education’s approval of proposed tuition hikes to up to nine percent (9%) in 282 schools nationwide.
According to Garry Martinez, chairperson of Migrante, OFWs will bear the brunt of tuition increases on top of continuous price hikes of basic commodities brought on by surging oil prices.
“Hindi na nga napagkakasya ang buwanang remittance, dadagdagan pa ang pahirap sa mga OFW dahil sa mataas na matrikula,” he said.
The migrant leader said that OFW remittances usually cover basic needs such as food, house rentals or amortizations, utilities and other monthly expenses. “Habang ang pang-tuition sa mga anak ay ipinangungutang pagdating ng enrollment, o di kaya naman kailangang magdoble o triple ng trabaho para mabayaran.”
Martinez said that one of the main reasons why parents are forced to seek employment abroad is because they want to give their children quality education. “Because of yearly tuition hikes, more and more children of OFWs are being forced to drop out of school. In light of soaring prices, OFW parents prioritize spending for food and other basic needs and paying off debts over their children’s school needs.”
“If the government is really sincere in helping out OFWs, especially the thousands who have recently returned to the country for various different crises abroad, it should seriously consider putting a stop to tuition hikes for the incoming academic year,” he said.
The migrant leader said that they support pending legislation aimed at imposing a tuition moratorium or regulating tuition and other school fees, among them House Bills 3708 and 1961 filed by Kabataan Partylis Rep. Raymond Palatino and Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino, respectively. ###