REPUBLIC ACT No. 6139

AN ACT TO REGULATE TUITION AND OTHER SCHOOL FEES OF PRIVATE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION, PROVIDING FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF CONTROVERSIES THEREON AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Section 1. It is hereby declared to be the policy of this Act to regulate tuition and other fees charged by private schools in order to discourage the collection of exorbitant and unreasonable fees.

Section 2. Within the limits and under the circumstances set forth in this Act, the Secretary of Education shall have the authority to regulate tuition and/or other school fees that each private school, college, university or any other educational institution as defined in Act Numbered Twenty-seven hundred and six, including nurseries and kindergarten schools, may impose.

Section 3. Any private educational institution proposing to increase the tuition and/or other fees being charged and/or collected by it for any course shall adopt the following procedure:

    (a) At least 180 days before the school year, semester, or term in which the increase is to be effective, it shall serve written notice thereof on the student council or government, or in case of schools or courses below the college or university level, on the Association of Parents, or in default thereof, the Parents-Teachers Association of the school concerned.

    Likewise, notice of such proposal shall be sent by personal delivery or registered mail to the Director of Private Schools, copy furnished the Regional Superintendent of the Bureau of Private Schools. Appropriate circulars containing the proposal shall be posted by the school administration in at least two conspicuous place within the premises of the school concerned.

    The notice of the proposal to increase shall, among other things, state the following: (1) the current fees or charges and the amount of increase (2) the reason or reasons for the proposed increase (3) the semester, term or school year in which the increase is proposed to take effect, and (4) a statement that if no opposition is filed until the thirtieth day from the posting of the notice, the increase shall become effective under this Act.

    (b) If after such notice is made, a formal opposition against such increase is presented to the school administration within thirty days after receipt of said notice by at least a majority of the student governing body or at least twenty per cent of the parents, in case of schools below college or university level, then the Local Schools Council on Fees herein created shall be convened to act on the controversy. Copy of said opposition shall be served on the Director of Private Schools who shall immediately, upon receipt, transmit said opposition to the corresponding Regional Superintendent of private schools and direct that the Local School Council on Fees be immediately organized and convened by said Regional Superintendent.

    If no opposition is filed within the period above provided, the increase shall be deemed authorized.

    The Local School Council on Fees shall be composed of the following: (1) one representative from the school administration to be chosen by the school concerned; (2) two representatives from the student body to be chosen by the student council or student government, or two representatives from the Association of Parents or in default thereof, the Parents-Teachers Association in case of schools below the college or university level to be chosen by the said association; (3) one representative from the Faculty Club or Association; and (4) The Director of Private Schools or his authorized representative in the area who will act as Chairman. While sitting as a Board and in aid of its function, said Board may issue subpoenas to compel attendance of witnesses, may administer oaths, may examine any person under oaths and may require the production of any books or papers relevant to the case.

    (c) The Local School Council on Fees shall exert all efforts to negotiate, conciliate, and settle the case to the satisfaction of the interested parties. The terms of settlement agreed upon by the parties shall be final and binding, and copies of such settlement shall be sent to the Director of Private Schools and the Regional Superintendent of the Bureau of Private Schools. In the event all intra-school remedies for amicable settlement have been exhausted and no agreement has been reached, then the said Council, by a majority vote, shall decide the case at least one hundred days before the opening of the school year, semester or term in which the proposed increase is to be effected. Its decision shall take into account the objectives of all schools as provided for in Article XIV, Section five of the Constitution, the sufficiency of facilities, the nature of courses and curriculum offered, the standards maintained, the volume of enrollment, the sufficiency of faculty development program and emoluments, facilities and student conveniences installed and others, in relation to the general cost by determining the cost of essential services to be rendered to the students in the quantity and quality required to meet the standards approved by the Department of Education and by allowing a maximum of twelve per cent on net worth: Provided, however, That unless required by extraordinary circumstances or events, no school, college or university shall increase annual tuition fees by more than fifteen per cent of the fees collected in the preceding school year.

The decision shall be in writing and shall contain concise statement of the facts and the grounds on which the decision is based.

Section 4. Any party adversely affected by the decision made by the Local School Council on Fees may appeal said decision within fifteen days from receipt of the copy of the same to the Secretary of Education, who shall, after giving notice and opportunity to be heard to interested parties, act upon said appeal at least sixty days before the close of the school year preceding that to which the increase shall apply and shall become enforceable beginning the school year following. An appeal shall stay the execution of decision of the Local School Council on Fees. The decision of the Secretary shall be final and bidding from its promulgation.

If no appeal is made within the period herein provided, the decision shall become final and binding from the expiration of said period.

Section 5. Any private educational institution proposing to decrease the tuition and/or other fees being charged and/or collected by it for any course shall serve notice of its proposal to decrease on the student council or government, and in case of schools below the college or university level on the Association of Parents or in default thereof, on the Parents-Teachers Association at least ninety days before the school year, term or semester in which it is proposed to take effect. Notice of such proposal shall be sent by personal delivery or registered mail within the same period to the Director of Public Schools, copy furnished the Regional Superintendent of the Private Schools in the area.

Notice of the proposal to decrease shall, among other things, state the following: (1) the current fees or charges and the amount of decrease; (2) the reason or reasons for the proposed decrease; and (3) the semester, term or school year in which the decrease is supposed to take effect.

If no opposition is presented to the Director of Private Schools by any interested party within thirty days after such notice is received, the decrease shall be considered authorized. If an opposition is presented to the Director of Private Schools by any interested party within said period, the Director of Private Schools shall notify the interested parties, and after giving them the opportunity to be heard and to present evidence, shall decide the matter at least thirty days before the school year, term or semester in which the decrease is to take effect. The decision of the Director of Private Schools on decrease of fees shall be considered final.

Section 6. In case of appeal from a decision on the increase of tuition or other fees, the Secretary of Education shall determine the reasonableness of the same taking into consideration, among others, the factors mentioned in Section 3 (c) of this Act.

Section 7. In cases of extraordinary causes, such as fluctuations in currency, strikes, and other unforseeable occurrences, the one hundred eighty day- period prescribed in Section 3 (a) shall be shortened to ninety days; the thirty-day period in Section 3 (b) to fifteen days, and the one hundred-day period in Section 3 (c) to sixty days. The decision of the Secretary of Education, in case of appeal, shall be promulgated at the earliest possible time, so as to give all interested parties an opportunity to adjust to the exigencies of the new situation.

Section 8. In all proceedings provided in this Act, the technical rules of procedure and evidence shall not apply.

Section 9. All fees, except tuition, shall be constituted into a trust fund to be spent for the specific purposes for which they are respectively collected. The unexpended balance of each fee annually may be used to cover deficits in other fees, and any unexpended balance of the fund at the end of every five years shall be constituted into a scholarship fund for poor but deserving students to be administered jointly by the school administration, faculty and student government.

No School administration shall hold any benefit performance, movies, concerts, dramatic presentation, games and/or shows of whatever kind or nature whether for charity of otherwise.

Section 10. The Secretary, in consultation with the President of (1) Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities, (2) Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, (3) Association of Christian Schools and Colleges, (4) Philippine Association of Private Schools and Colleges, (5) National Confederation of Faculty Organizations, (6) Philippine Confederation of Parents-Teachers Association, shall, within thirty days after the effectivity of this Act, promulgate rules and regulations to carry into effect the provisions hereof: Provided, That such rules and regulations shall become effective upon publication in the Official Gazette and two newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines.

Section 11. Any violation of the provisions of this Act or of any rules or regulations promulgated by authority of this Act or any final decision rendered in accordance with this Act or of any agreed settlement under Section 3 (c) hereof, shall punishable by a fine of two thousand pesos or imprisonment of one year or both at the discretion of the court and shall be imposed on the Chairman, President or Head of the educational institution if the violator be a corporation or on any person acting for and in behalf of the educational institution directly committing the violation in other cases: Provided, That if the violator is a public official the same penalty shall be imposed without prejudice to any administrative action that may be taken against him.

Section 12. All Acts, parts of Acts, executive orders, rules and regulations inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed.

Section 13. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved: August 31, 1970


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