BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PHILIPPINES’ HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM Since the creation of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED

) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in 1994, the Department of Education, Culture and Sport (DECS) has concentrated on elementary and secondary education. As a result, the CHED, a department-level agency, independent from the DECS, governs the public and private higher education system (two-year colleges, four-year, and comprehensive/technical universities) and oversees degree-granting programs in all postsecondary educational institutions. The TESDA, an agency attached to the Department of Labor, oversees the post-secondary technical and vocational education. In 1998, the Philippines had 1,495 higher education institutions including 377 public institutions (219 state universities/colleges, 102 CHED-supervised institutions, 38 local universities/colleges, and 18 other government schools) and 1,118 private institutions. The state universities and colleges (SUCs) are funded by the national government. CHED-supervised Institutions are directly supervised by the CHED, and their annual budget allocation is integrated in the government budget appropriation for the CHED. Local universities/colleges are operated, supported and maintained by local government units. Other government schools such as military and police academies offer degrees and advanced training programs that are supervised and regulated by the Department of National Defense and Philippine National Police. Private institutions are funded from capital investments, contributions, tuition fees and other school charges, grants, loans, subsidies, and other income sources in accordance with government legislation. While they are fairly autonomous, they have to apply for permission from the CHED to open new courses and for authorization to graduate their students. In 1996, more than 2.2 million students were enrolled in various higher education institutions, and the enrollment ratio of the students was 29 percent in 2000. Like other Asian countries, the Philippines has relied on private institutions to increase higher education opportunities and, at the turn of the century, had a higher proportion of its students in private higher education than any other country. In 1996, private higher education institutions enrolled approximately three-quarters of all higher education students. Each higher education institution adopts a certain admission policy beyond the general requirement that all candidates have to be graduates of secondary education. Some institutions require passing an entrance exam and a medical examination; others adopt open admission, but selective retention. Though the Philippine Constitution has mandated that the government allocate the highest proportion of its budget to education, the Philippines still has one of the lowest budget allocations to education among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The national education budget was 2.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1998. In terms of the higher education budget, as a result of a Congressional initiative in 1997, its share increased sharply from 2.4 percent in 1987 to 15 percent in 1997. However, following the Asian economic crisis, its budget (DECS and SUCs) decreased from P17, 166 ($1,415) million in 1998 to P16,759 ($1,382) million in 2000. Most Filipinos regard education as a primary avenue for upward social and economic mobility. Middle-class parents make many sacrifices to provide secondary and higher education for their children. Moreover, many of them seem to equate high quality education with high tuition fees. Tuition fees of private universities in Metro Manila are much higher than those of public universities. The annual tuition fees of these private universities are nearly half the average income of Filipino families (P123,168 / $10,154 in 1997).

Table 1 Tuition Fees of Selected Universities in the Philippines (Pesos) (PPP $1 = P12.13) is this correct currency rate?!! Bert Number of terms to complete a degree 8 8 10 8

a University of the Philippines (Public) University of Santo Tomas (Private) De La Salle University (Private) Ateneo de Manila University (Private)

Amount/term 6,500 ($536) 20,000 ($1,649) 30,000 ($2,473) 40,000 ($3,298)

Amount/year 13,000 ($1,072) 40,000 ($3,298) 60,000 ($4,946) 80,000 ($6,595)

Source: Viray, Editha C. (2001). Philippine Business Hiring / Recruiting System. Available at The Philippine government, universities, individuals, organizations and corporations provide scholarship programs to students from low-income families. According to a 1999 National Statistics Office survey, 259.8 thousand college students received scholarships from private organizations and government programs, which was an increase of 41.2 percent compared to 184.0 thousand in 1998. However, the same statistics show that in 1999, scholarships were received by only 12.8 percent of the families with children enrolled in higher education institutions (NSO, 2000). The University of the Philippines (UP) has developed the Socialized Tuition Fee Assistance Program (STFAP), under which students from higher income families pay higher fees and students from the lowest income families are eligible for free tuition plus a living allowance. The plan was first implemented in the University of the Philippines in 1989 as a major reform designed to democratize undergraduate student admission and to benefit low-income and disadvantaged students. The STFAP is also a government policy, having been mandated by the President and Congress of Philippines through General Appropriations Acts of 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1992 The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) offers students who enter private universities a similar program, the Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) Program. However, unlike the STFAP, the PESFA does not fully cover tuition fees. The CHED also offers student loans through the Study Now Pay Later (SNPL) Student Loan Program. Student borrowers have to repay their loans at a simple annual interest rate of six percent starting thirteen months after graduation. The Philippines has relied on private institutions to increase higher education opportunities. However, the equity of expanding private higher education is less clear. Moreover, through the Education Code of 1982, the government has deregulated tuition fees. The CHED’s liberalizing policies for private schools and rationalizing policies for SUCs may also make their tuition fees skyrocket. In SY 2000-2001, about 37 percent of schools raised their tuition fees at an average increase of 13.11 percent. In the case of private schools, the PESFA Program offered by the CHED allows students whose family income is less than P120,000 ($9,893) only P15,000 ($1,237) per year. Therefore, a student who has an annual family income of P90,000 ($7,420) and who receives the maximum PESFA would still have to pay more than two-thirds of her family income just in tuition fees.

Though the CHED also provides students with student loans, they will not borrow if they have little chance of finding a high wage job upon graduation. According to the official website of the National Statistics Office, the unemployment rate is currently 13.3 percent, and the underemployment rate is 17.5 percent (as of April 2001). In this situation, it may be hard for even university/college graduates to find employment. II. Estimated Expenses of Higher Education in the Philippines Table 2 Higher Education Expenses Borne by Parents and Students [National currency Philippine Peso converted to $US by 1998 PPP estimate $1 = P12.13] a a a a a Special "One-Time" or "Up Front" Fees Tuition Other Fees Books & Other Educational Expenses Subtotal Expenses of Instruction Lodging Food Transportation Other Personal Expenses Subtotal Expenses of Student Living Total Cost to Parent & Student Public Private Low High Low High P200 P350 P400 P500 ($16) ($29) ($33) ($41) P8,400 P12,600 P19,300 P50,000 ($692) ($1,039) ($1,591) ($4,122) P4,850 P8,000 P12,000 P24,000 ($400) ($660) ($989) ($1,979) P2,000 ($165) P15,450 ($1,274) P3,000 ($247) P3,000 ($247) P4,000 ($330) P78,500 ($6,472)

P23,950 P34,700 ($1,974) ($2,861)

P7,200 P36,000 P7,200 P36,000 ($594) ($2,968) ($594) ($2,968) P8,000 P26,000 P8000 P26,000 ($660) ($2,143) ($660) ($2,143) P7,500 P2,500 P7,500 P2,500 ($618) ($206) ($618) ($206) P8,800 P13,200 P8,800 P13,200 ($725) ($1,088) ($725) ($1,088) P31,500 P77,700 P31,500 P77,700 ($2,597) ($6,406) ($2,597) ($6,406) P46,950 P101,650 P66,200 P156,200 ($3,871) ($8,380) ($5,458) ($12,877)

Public Low: Local Universities/Colleges (LUCs) 38 Institutions, living at home with parents Public High: State Universities/Colleges (SUCs) 377 Institutions, living as an “independent adult” Private Low: non-elitist universities/colleges, living at home with parents Private High: elitist universities/colleges and institutes of technology, living as an “independent adult”

References Biglete, Amelia A. (1998). “Philippines,” in Wongsothorn, Tong-In and Yibing, Wang ed, HANDBOOK on Diplomas, Degrees and other Certificates in Higher Education in ASIA and the

PACIFIC. Bangkok/Thailand: UNESCO Principal Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (PROAP). Available at higher-edu/Handbook/HB_Philippines.htm Commission on Higher Education (1999). Basic Higher Education Statistics, Information and Publication Division [Online]. Available at Dancel, Joshua (2001) “365 schools seek 15% hike in tuition fees,” The Sun.Star Manila, June 01,2001 [Onine]. Available at Eisemon, Thomas O. and Salmi, Jamil (1995). Increasing Equity in Higher Education: Strategies and Lessons from International Experience, World Bank ESP Discussion Paper No. 61. Available at Gloria, Ricardo T. (1996). THE DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATION: A National Report of the Philippines, National report presented to the 45th session of the International Conference on Education, Geneva, 30 September - 5 October 1996. Available at Databanks/Dossiers/rphilipp.htm Gonzalez, Andrew (1998). “Student Magna Carta Results in Philippine Private Higher Education Protest,” International Higher Education, Winter 1998. Available at News10/text4.html Hicap, Jonathan (1999), “Sending your child to school today has its ‘price,’” Manila Bulletin, June 3, 1999. Available at Hunt, Chester L. (1993). “The Society and Its Environment,” in Philippines: a country study. edited by Dolan, Ronald E. 4th ed. Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. National Statistical Coordination Board (2001). Sectoral Statistics “Education” [Online]. Available at National Statistics Office (2000). Annual Poverty Indicators Survey, Income and Employment Statistics Division No. 2000-66 October 1999. Available at National Statistics Office (2001). Highlights of the 1997 Family Income & Expenditures Survey, Income and Employment Statistics Division. Available at Oplas, Bienvenido Jr. (1999). “Should Government Continue Its Heavy Subsidies to SUCs?” POLICY BRIEF, Congressional Planning and Budget Office, No. 99-02 March 1999. Available at Philippine Network Foundation, Inc. (1996). KEY ISSUES IN PHILIPPINE EDUCATION, The Internet 1996 World Exposition [Online]. Available at

Viray, Editha C. (2001). Philippine Business Hiring / Recruiting System [Online]. Available at UNESCO (2000). The World Education Report 2000. Paris: UNESCO Publishing. Available at wer/PDFeng/wholewer.PDF University of the Philippines, Manila (2001), Application Form for Financial Assistance [Online]. Available at World Bank (1998). Philippines: Social Expenditure Priorities, Managing Unit: Philippines Country Management Unit, East Asia and Pacific Region. Report no. 18562-PH. November 13. Available at pdf_content/0000949469903191053369/multi_page.pdf

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