Angelhouser | A Journal By Angelica Bautista Viloria

Saturday, December 16, 2006

UP Tuition to Increase by 300%

The Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines has already approved the 300% tuition fee hike. Each academic unit will now be worth P1,000 (from the previous P300) in the campuses in Diliman, Manila, and Los Banos. For Baguio, Visayas, and Mindanao, the cost will increase from P200 to P600. Miscellaneous and other fees will also increase accordingly.

Expectedly, the tuition is being increased amidst protests from the student body. According to news reports, the last time the tuition in UP was increased was in 1989. I do remember though, that a few years ago, my officemates were talking (or was it more like complaining?) about the increase in rates for their MBA program at UP Diliman. Or are we just talking about increasing the tuition for undergraduate courses?

In addition to the tuition fee increase, the Socialized Tuition Financial Assistance Program or STFAP will also be revised. Those who cannot afford to even pay the tuition at UP will even receive a stipend of P12,000 per semester. That's a lot! Bottom-line, officials of UP say that only those who have the capability to pay will bear the brunt of the increase in rates. Those who are less affluent (those with a family income of less than P1 million annually?) will pay rates according to their income bracket based on the revised STFAP.

Even with the increase in rates, UP will still be an affordable alternative compared to say Ateneo or De La Salle. Hopefully, the higher rates will allow the university to retain better professors and faculty members; improve facilities; and give support to poor but deserving and bright students.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gold Medals At Last!

If we Filipinos wish to be happy or experience some joyful moments, we should focus on our athletes and artists. In the on-going Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, after several days of waiting, we finally have three gold medals, courtesy of: Antonio Gabica in billiards and Violito Payla and Joan Tipon for boxing. Is Joan really his name? That's what the Philippine Star says.

Seeing our athletes' track record, so far, the Philippines should probably just focus on boxing, billiards, bowling, and taekwondo. Those are the sports where Pinoys have proven that they have what it takes to be world-class.

Forget our politicians. If our athletes bring us joy and pride, Philippine politics just makes life more stressful. Just look at how the Con-Ass (or should it have been Con Us?) attempt unfolded. Just think of how the other countries in Asia view the Philippines after the cancellation of the Asean Summit in Cebu.

I guess we should be thankful that "politics" is not a competitive sport. We would never get the gold.