MANILA — Some 6,600 students in private colleges and universities have yet to receive their stipends from the government because their schools have not submitted the required documents, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said Tuesday.
CHED Chairperson Prospero de Vera said his office has been receiving inquiries and complaints from students and their families who have not received their Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES), which amounts to P60,000 per student per academic year.
"We understand these frustrations and we recognize the situation of some of our students and their families during this COVID-19 pandemic," he said in a statement.
De Vera explained that the release of the students' stipend was delayed because their schools have not submitted their billing requirements to the Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC). There are 264 of such schools that have yet to complete the process.
The PEAC processes the TES billings of private colleges and universities, and endorses the claims to the CHED and the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) for payment.
TES program beneficiaries include students in private HEIs who belong to the Listahanan 2.0 of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, or those who reside and study in private HEIs in cities and municipalities where there are no public universities.
The stipend is used by students to pay for their tuition, miscellaneous fees, and other school expenses.
Both CHED and the UniFAST reminded the private HEIs to immediately comply with the requirements so the TES beneficiaries may receive their stipend.
De Vera also urged students and their families to source information from the official Facebook pages of the CHED and UniFAST to avoid miscommunication over the TES.
Last May 15, 120,798 students from 404 colleges and universities nationwide received their TES for the first semester of Academic Year 2019 to 2020, the CHED said.
CHED Commissioner Aldrin Darilag earlier said in a Senate hearing that the commission was expecting an increase in tuition and other fees in colleges and universities to offset revenue losses linked to the coronavirus crisis.
The COVID-19 crisis has affected about 3.5 million higher education students, Darilag said.