Two hundred sixty-four (264) private higher education institutions (HEIs) have yet to submit their billing requirements to the Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC) resulting in delay in the processing and disbursing of Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) stipends to some 6,628 qualified student-grantees.
Under the TES program, students enrolled in private HEIs who are eligible for TES will receive PhP 60,000.00 per academic year if they belong to the Listahanan 2.0 of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or they reside and study in private HEIs in cities and municipalities where there is no public university. The TES benefit is used by students to pay for their tuition, miscellaneous fees, and other school expenses.
PEAC processes the TES billings of private HEIs and endorses these billing claims to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) for payment.
CHED and UniFAST remind these 264 private HEIs to immediately comply with the requirements so their student-grantees can receive the money needed to continue their education.
“On 15 May 2020, a total of 120,798 grantees from 404 private HEIs nationwide already received their TES for the 1st semester of Academic Year 2019-2020 when the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released P3.6 billion to the Commission to cover the partial payment of TES benefits,” said CHED and UniFAST Board Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III.
The private schools that have received the TES stipends are those TES billings that have already been processed and endorsed by PEAC to the UniFAST Secretariat and CHED.
“We have been getting a lot of inquiries and complaints from our communication channels and social media platforms on the delays of the TES benefit distribution. We understand these frustrations and we recognize the situation of some of our students and their families during this COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
The Commission was able to download the TES grants through the regional offices to compliant private HEIs even during the enhanced community quarantine in many areas. Due to the restrictions of the lockdown and other issues like poor internet connection and access in transportation, some private HEIs have encountered problems in giving the TES to their students.
The DBM has already informed CHED that the remaining TES funds for AY 2019-2020 will soon be downloaded.
However, these funds cannot be given to the qualified student-grantees if their respective private HEIs do not have the necessary submissions.
De Vera also urges the public to refer only to official announcements from the Facebook page of CHED and UniFAST to avoid misinterpretations of statements and advisories from other pages.
“The Commission clarifies the statement released earlier regarding the P15B contribution to fund the operations and response measures related to COVID-19. There is no reduction of TES funds because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding for RA 10931, including those for TES, is fully funded for the 1st and 2nd semesters of AY 2019-2020 and the 1st semester of AY 2020-2021. The funding requirement for the second semester of AY 2020-2021, which starts in January 2021, will be provided in the FY 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA) following the cash-based budgeting system.
J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA
Commission on Higher Education and UniFAST Board