No student shall be denied access to UP education due to financial constraints-UP

March 18, 2013 10:35 pm 

MANILA, March 18 — “University of the Philippines (UP) Manila will always be a government institution that values quality education for deserving bright students of the country especially those who are underprivileged.”

This was pointed out by UP president Alfredo E. Pascual during the press conference held at Quezon Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City to clarify some issues and speculations portraying UP as cold-hearted and ruthless.

“No student shall be denied access to UP education due to financial constraints,” he stressed.

“Our compassion has been questioned a lot in the media,” said Dr. Manuel B. Agulto, UP Manila Chancellor.

“There were persistent reports stating how Mrs. Blesilda Tejada, knelt and begged before me. That never happened,” Dr. Agultu explained as he added that even Mrs. Tejada has clarified that she never knelt.

Tejada is the mother of Kristel Pilar Mariz Tejada, a BA Behavioral Science enrolled in UP Manila who committed suicide by drinking a silver cleaner.

Kristel Pilar Mariz Tejada suicide has projected UP policies to be ruthless by some sectors of the society by linking the suicide of Tejada as anti-poor policy for UP students which the UP administration vehemently contradicts by explaining that there are several factors that could trigger a suicidal tendency of a person which only the experts can explain.

Agultu cited that Tejada, who was also accommodated in the Office of the Student Affairs (OSA) as a student assistant, filed for a LOA (Leave of Absence) on March 13, 2013.

“The fact that Ms. Tejada went through the process of getting a college clearance, submitting her application, and paying the LOA fee indicated that she wanted her student record to be in order and that signified her intention of enrolling again in the next semester,” Agultu explained.

Pascual also said it is unfortunate that the tragedy happened a day after he had instructed the Chancellors of all UP units during their council meeting Thursday that they should not deny access to qualified students who cannot enrol because of financial constraints.

Pascual added that he kept on pushing for reforms since he took office to simplify the STFAP application process and increase the financial aid for poor students.

STAFP or Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program is a dynamic mechanism that responds to students’ financial needs.

It is a program that enables poor students to study in UP without having to pay full tuition fees and even receive monthly stipend depending on their bracket.

The process allows re-bracketing depending on the most current financial status of the students’ family.

In order to ensure that the bracket is accurate and fair to all UP students, there are standard requirements that students have to comply with.

“On Sept. 27, 2012, Ms. Tejada filed for an appeal to rebracket her to E2 (free tuition fee plus allowance) but unfortunately, she was not able to submit the supporting documents.

“They are already planned for Board of Regents action next month,” Pascual revealed as he added that he will immediately propose to the board next meeting on April 12, 2013 to lift the “no late payment policy” effective on all college units.

He added that he is confident that the UP administration can turn the tragedy into a greater resolve to act and make UP more accessible to the poor. (PNA)



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