‘Tuition refund, E2 bracket for Yolanda-hit students take time’

Consultation with PAEP

Photos in this collage were taken by Angeli Sarmiento, correspondent, UP Cebu Public Information Office

University of the Philippines (UP) president Alfredo Pascual said he needs time to find ways to refund students who qualified for full scholarship after they were affected by supertyphoon Yolanda.

“Give me time, and we will find a solution,” said Pascual in a meeting with cross-enrollees from UP in the Visayas (UPV) Tacloban College Jan. 22 at the Union Building in UP Cebu.

Pascual was addressing the concern of students who paid tuition just before Yolanda hit the country.

He also explained the non-inclusion of many cross-enrollees in bracket E2, the lowest bracket under the university’s Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP).

An E2 scholar is entitled to full tuition subsidy and a stipend from the university.

Other issues that the students raised were differing bracket assignments for similarly affected siblings and calls for them to pay tuition though they do not have money.

Pascual pointed out that administrators cannot just classify anyone within their desired STFAP bracket.

The students, he said, must articulate their situation and explain the facts.

“The administration has a responsibility to be prudent,” he said. “Just tell them the truth.”

Pascual reaffirmed the university’s commitment to help affected students shoulder their tuition.

He promised to look further into the issue when he visits UPV Tacloban Feb. 4 and reassured that no qualified student will be denied access to UP for monetary reasons.

Meanwhile, graduating cross-enrollees asked Pascual what he can do about the unavailability in UP Cebu of courses that match the requirements of UPV Tacloban programs.

Students who earlier registered in UPV Tacloban’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps said they are worried since UP Cebu only offers the National Service Training Program.

Pascual said consideration would be given to their choice of subjects, given their situation.

The UP president is doing the rounds of UP campuses that accommodated UPV Tacloban students.

He said he hopes the information he gains will help him discern what needs to be done for the UPV Tacloban campus and its students.

“I came here to really listen to you,” he told the students before he tackled their questions.

by Angeli Marie Sarmiento
Correspondent, UP Cebu Public Information Office