UP Manila's 'no late payment' policy under fire
MANILA - The National Youth Commission (NYC) on Friday denounced the University of the Philippines-Manila's "no late tuition payment" policy that allegedly drove a student to kill herself.
The NYC, in a press statement, said it "strongly condemns" UP Manila's policy, which it called repressive.
A 16-year-old first year Behavioral Sciences student of UP Manila committed suicide before dawn on Friday, two days after she filed for a leave of absence (LOA).
Professor Andrea Bautista Martinez of the Department of Behavioral Sciences said the student, who frequently visited the Office of Student Services for counselling services, was forced to take an LOA because her family could not afford to pay her tuition.
NYC chairman Leon Flores III said UP Manila's "no late payment" policy forces students to stop studying if they fail to meet the deadline of tuition payment.
Flores said the UP Manila Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (OVCAA) allegedly released a memorandum in accordance with Article 330 of the 1975 University Code, which states that "no student who has not duly matriculated shall be admitted to classes."
He added that the memorandum states that "students who do not pay on the deadline for registration will, by default, not allowed to enter their classes despite having already acquired subjects."
"Education is and has always been a right. There's no room for this kind of policy in the academe, especially for a supposed state-run academic institution," he added.
Flores urged the UP Board of Regents, the Commission on Higher Education and the Commission on Human Rights to investigate UP Manila's "no late payment" policy.
He said students and parents should report similar cases to the commission.