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Parents complain on alleged illegal school fees

By Nora Soriño
Iligan City Bureau Chief
and Jun Enriquez
Correspondent

Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte — Several parents have been complaining on school contributions amounting to P570 per student at Bansarvil National High School (BNHS), Bansarvil 1, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte.

Some parents of the students from Sultan Naga Dimaporo approached reporters and aired their sentiments about the problem

They are asking why should the school require them to pay the school contributions while in fact the government program is free education.

The media group in Iligan City, including this reporter, decided to proceed to BNHS to get the side of the school on the complaint. Upon reaching at BNHS to interview the school principal, Leonilo Gorecho, who was not around due to some important appointment, the school teachers present were able to talk about the complaints on school contributions.

The complaint was confirmed from the teachers. One of the teachers said it is evident that some of the money collected was used in the development of school-building.

Based on Department of Education (Deped) policy, there is the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) that is the allocated fund for public elementary and secondary schools that can be spent on activities and necessities (i.e. electricity and water, etc.) that support learning programs and help maintain a safe and healthy environment in schools. As a reminder from the DepEd, In accordance with RA 9485 (Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007), schools are mandated by law to have a Transparency Board on MOOE posting all school expenditures using the allocated funds.

During a short interview with Lanao del Norte School Superintendent Emmalinda R. Duhaylungsod, CESO V, at her office in Pigcarangan, Tubod, Lanao del Norte, asked if she allowed collection of fees in schools from the parents or students, she said any contribution from school should be voluntary. Duhaylungsod said she will conduct an investigation about the parents’ complaint at BNHS and if found of any wrongdoings will be dealt with accordingly.

In the parents’ complaint, their children will not be cleared during closing of classes if they could not pay the amount of P570  for the school contribution. In this case, if not cleared from school at the end of school year the student will not be able to enroll during the opening of classes for the next school year. In this situation the amount contribution of P570 is no longer voluntary but compulsory in reality because it is already part of the mandatory school clearance.

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