REP. LAWRENCE “LAW” H. FORTUN
Agusan del Norte 1st District
Member for the Minority – Committee on Labor & Employment
A lawyer by profession | Mobile number 09177292437
Fortun asks BSP to cut costs of bank loans to schools, teachers
*Dahil malaki ang ibababa sa utilities and personnel expenses sanhi ng online classes, tuition fees sa private schools hiniling ibaba
MINORITY SOLON ASKS PRIVATE SCHOOLS: AIM TO SLASH FEES BY 30 TO 50 PERCENT
I ask DepEd, CHED, and TESDA to adopt core principles, parameters, and guidelines for private schools’ business continuity under COVID-19 and onwards. The business continuity policy scope must include tuition and other school fees.
Exercising their sound business sense, private school owners and managers would come to realize that staying open for business means being compassionately sensitive to the financial woes of parents and students.
Private school owners and administration should aim to slash tuition and other school fees by not less than 30-50 percent to maintain last school year’s enrolment levels.
I hope the private schools would see the light on scaling down their operations to the essentials while avoiding any dropouts and keeping all their current staff. This means tough choices on cost-cutting and availment of zero or interest loans to stay open for business.
By extreme necessity, private schools must go their every item of fixed cost and variable cost. Cost-cutting is painful, but the goal is to keep your staff and students.
Hold off on purchases of non-essential new equipment and renovations. Conserve supplies.
Because classes will be largely on-line, schools will have substantial decrease in costs of electricity, water, fuel, office and school supplies and other materials.
Hence, it is but just and fair to decrease in tuition, miscellaneous and other school fees.
The education agencies may undertake their business continuity review separately or jointly. I prefer jointly on the common or overlapping issues.
To help in the survival of most private schools, I suggest hefty increases in the budgets for the Education Service Contracting (ESC) and SHS vouchers for students, GAS/GASTPE funding, and subsidies for teacher training, seminars, and study grants.
I appeal to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to issue regulations bringing down costs of loans for schools and salary loans of teachers.
I understand the different types of schools have varied operational needs and nuances.
Most important matter to tackle are the schools’ cost structures while considering their size, program offerings, and locations.
I suggest the classification of the schools into micro, small, medium, and large when analyzing their cost structures.
· Micro schools: tiny preschools with only kindergarten and day care services. Quite often the facilities were houses converted into classrooms. Staff complement would be less than 10.
· Small schools: most parochial, missionary schools and techvoc in the provinces.
· Medium sized schools: typically family-owned with elementary to college programs.
· Large schools: colleges and universities with basic education programs.
(Attached are Highlights/Excerpts of the Education Sector component of the 2017 Annual Survey of Business and Industry. Results were released last October 2019.)
TABLE A Comparative Summary Statistics for All Education Establishments Philippines, 2017 and 2016
Figure 1 displays the percentage distribution of the number of establishments for the Education sector by industry group in 2017.
Figure 2 shows the distribution of employment for all education establishments by industry group in 2017
Figure 3 shows the average annual compensation of paid employees for all education establishments by industry group in 2017.