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According to Commission on Higher Education Chairman Prospero De Vera, the 100-strong Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAPSCU) decided to postpone the collection of tuition fees for a month in the midst of Luzon's intensified community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the Laging Handa press briefing, De Vera also said that PAPSCU will also collect tuition fees on staggered basis in the subsequent months of the enhanced community quarantine—a measure that banned mass transport until April 12.

“Nakatanggap kasi kami ng reports na may mga private universities na may nangongolekta ng tuition para sa ngayong buwan, eh nahihirapan magpunta ang mga estudyante at magulang [para magbayad]. Kaya nakiusap ako sa mga private universities na wala munang koleksyon ng tuition for this month,” De Vera said.

“Ang University of Perpetual Health System at Immaculate Conception institutions ay agad tumugon [sa panawagan], at ang PAPSCU na hindi maniningil ng tuition during the one-month quarantine,” he added.

In addition, De Vera said that private universities and colleges can modify their academic calendars without seeking permission from CHED.

“Waived na po ang regulation [that CHED approval is needed to change a school's academic calendar] because we don’t want government regulations to make it difficult for the schools,” De Vera said.

“Private schools can change their academic calendar as needed. They can just inform the Commission in writing on how we can help them,” he added.

As for students who are having a difficult time complying with the requirements of online classes due to poor or lack of internet connection at home, De Vera said that universities and colleges should instead resort to giving assignments or other reports that will be due after a month.

“I call on the schools to observe extra leniency in the delivery mode of  the student requirements without compromising the standards,” De Vera said.

There are at least 202 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines as of March 19, Thursday. Of this number, 17 have died while seven others recovered. 

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