This is it! I always say these words to my graduating students whenever I confer their titles and degrees during commencement exercises. These three words always elicit resounding applause or a sigh of relief from the graduates because they have completed their degrees and are about to enter the next phase of their lives.
My term as PACU President and COCOPEA Chair is about to end. Just like my graduates, I also feel great relief because I survived the immense challenges of these disruptive times. I can now go back to my family, my full-time work at the university and other endeavors where I am much needed already. But do not get me wrong because I take much pride for having served as the 49th President of PACU. It was indeed a privilege and an honor to help advance the interests of private education with the support of my fellow members. Despite the enormous difficulties that I had to face while serving PACU, I take utter solace in the fact that I was given the rare opportunity to work with the greatest minds in the private education sector.
Meanwhile, my final report for this newsletter covers the months of February to September 2022. Let us recall all the challenges as well as other opportunities we faced and surpassed as the private education sector takes on the hard work of getting back on its feet stronger. Lifting some words from Suzanne Teer and KarenBurg (2020), “(the) academe has the opportunity now to convert positive lessons learned from the COVID-19 era of leadership into a long-term best practice.”
As regards the Department of Education (DepEd), the COCOPEA Executive Committee met with Vice President and concurrent DepEd Secretary Sara Z. Duterte on July 27, 2022. During the ZOOM meeting, we sought her help and appealed for flexibility in the implementation of learning modalities for the SY 2022-2023 onwards and the concerns of private schools on the implementation of Department Order (DO) 34 s. 2022 or the School Calendar and Activities for the school year. We particularly appealed to VP Sec. Sara to give us the freedom to hold classes using the best combinations of in-person and online instruction. We stressed that we have a strong position to determine what would be the most appropriate modality for our students in consultation with parents, guardians, LGUs and other stakeholders with the safety of our students as a paramount concern while ensuring the continuity of learning.
In response, VP Sec. Sara asked for concrete policy recommendations to be submitted to the DepEd to support blended and online learning modalities to address certain concerns and limitations in the private education sector, even as in-person classes remain a priority. VP Sec Sara also wrote a letter to the Department of Health (DOH) OIC Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire endorsing COCOPEA to prioritize the rollout of vaccines for children through COCOPEA-member schools in coordination with the regional offices of DOH and the local government units (LGUs). She said the DepEd will meet with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to ensure that the LGUs align with the ease of administrative restrictions under DO 34, s. 2022 regarding social distancing and capacity in the reopening of private schools.
However, we are hopeful about the outcome of our dialogue with the VP Sec. Sara in ensuring that private schools will be granted a wide degree of autonomy on blended learning approaches, which we think is a more resilient, accessible, sustainable and forward-looking model in delivering quality education to all our learners. We also hope the VP Sec. Sara would push through with her plans of institutionalizing blended learning. Currently, we are following up to seek a meeting to open a constant line of communication on how we can help the DepEd.
As of this writing, we received communication from VP Sec. Sara stating that DepEd is taking into consideration the recommendations of COCOPEA. This request will be coursed through the Curriculum and Instruction Strand which is currently drafting a policy to include the implementation of learning delivery modalities on blended learning. We are very happy that DepEd is looking into the possibility of granting our petition and hopeful for the President’s approval on or before September 30, 2022.
On July 11 to 15, 2022, COCOPEA and PACU sent participants to Baguio City to be part of the Curriculum Revision as one of the top priorities of the DepEd. The said workshop aims to identify gaps and issues in the proposed curriculum guides from grades 7 to 10; enhance the proposed draft based on the inputs and suggestions of participants; and determine other considerations to ensure a revitalized Key Stage 3 Curriculum Guides (CGs). In addition, the Private Education Office (PEO) granted the request of COCOPEA to be part of the monitoring team on the progressive expansion of face-to-face classes under DepEd-DOH JMC 001, s. of 2022.
Recently, together with the other associations comprising COCOPEA, we participated in the first virtual Strategic Planning for the academic years 2022 to 2025. The Strategic Planning process has three phases. The first phase is the Pre-Planning Review and Reflection which was conducted by each association where the synthesized outputs were used as a springboard for the plenary. The second phase is the Plenary Discussion held via ZOOM last September 5, 2022. The third phase is PostPlanning Workshop with the association president and advocacy chair. In this phase, proposed activities will be workshopped, calibrated, and paced for 2022-2025. With the active involvement of the participants, the strategic planning activity will help COCOPEA discover the common ideals, identify intermediate result areas, and chart its goals for the next three years.
On the legislative front, COCOPEA participated and lobbied in various committee deliberations in Congress and the Senate pertaining to bills affecting private education such as the EDCOM II which recently lapsed into law. During the 19th Congress, the committees involving education in both houses invited COCOPEA representatives as resource persons during their organizational meetings.
Recently, COCOPEA and PACU appealed to the CHED En Banc to issue a certification required by the National Medical Council (NMC) of India. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) clarified that the medical education program is consistent with the CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) 18, s. of 2016 or the “Policies, Standards, and Guidelines on Medical Education.” It further affirmed that the Doctor of Medicine degree awarded to international students is essentially the same degree offered to Filipino students and can be registered for licensure examination in the Philippines.
In addition, Chairman Prospero De Vera approved the exemption or extension of the period when foreign medical students are required to take the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) with grade cut-off requirement. The certification and extension paved the way for around ten to twenty thousand current medical students and potential students to pursue medical education in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, with regard to the CHED, we would like to thank the TWG on Flexible Learning led by our experts headed by Dr. Caroline Enriquez, Dr. Ma. Cristina Padolina, Mr. Augusto “Gion” Fabella, and Dr. Edizon Fermin who were instrumental in coming up with the CMO 06 s. 2022 on “Sustaining Flexible Learning in Higher Education,” an addendum to CMO 04, s. 2020 or “Guidelines for the implementation of Flexible Learning.” The memo gives wide latitude for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in determining appropriate teaching and learning approaches while deciding on the conduct of in-person classes or flexible learning modes relative to the achievement of discipline-specific program outcomes suitable to certain conditions. In addition, CMO 05 s. 2022 repeals the previous CHED-DOH JMC 2021-004 and CMO 01 s. 2022 wherein the medical insurance requirement for students taking in-person classes is now removed.
Furthermore, on tuition fee increase applications for SY 2022-2023, as early as the CHED memo on February 11, 2022 on the use of Regional Inflation Rate (RIR) in the determination of tuition fee increase was released, PACU officers have been taking our position to CHED. According to CHED CMO 03 s. 2013, the tuition fee increase is considered reasonable as long as there was consultation. The Policy Committee headed by Pres Vincent Fabella and Pres Michael Alba sent CHED a proposal that can be used as a basis in exchange for the “past-looking” RIR which was too low at 0.1% to 4%. The CHED was willing to consider the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) forecast which is prospective in nature in exchange for the RIR that will be their guide to determine the reasonableness of tuition fee increases. We had a series of meetings with Chairman De Vera, the Commission En Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities – NEWSLETTER Volume XII No. 2 3 Banc and Regional Directors to resolve the standing issue. On July 13, Chairman De Vera signed another memo replacing the low RIR to a higher one, based on the Consumer Price Index Report for May 2022, from a low of 4.7% for NCR to 5.5% for outside NCR, by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Moreover, PACU continues to advocate with CHED to lift moratoriums on specific programs with high demand such as Nursing, HRM, Information Technology, and Teacher Education. Chairman De Vera said he is open to lifting the moratoriums of other programs stated except for teacher education which might be difficult because of the quality improvements which were discussed in the 18th Congress. Thus, on July 12, 2022, the CHED En Banc officially lifted the moratorium on the offering of new nursing programs. The decision to lift the moratorium is a response to the current need for more nursing professionals to serve the country’s health care delivery system.
With regard to the May 9 elections, COCOPEA held a series of voter education sessions and individual interviews with presidential candidates entitled “The Education President Interviews with Presidential Aspirants on Philippine Education.” The objective of the event was to bring the candidates and their education platforms directly to the students, faculty and other stakeholders of member schools to ask questions directly to the candidates and promote a well-informed electorate from the education sector. We reiterated that COCOPEA is a non-partisan association and it is up to the individual members to choose their candidates.
We are grateful to former Vice President Leni Robredo and Ka Leody De Guzman for accommodating our request despite their busy campaign schedules. Likewise, my sincere appreciation goes to the University of Pangasinan and the Holy Child Catholic School for opening their campuses for these hybrid events. Other presidential candidates were also invited to participate in the interview series, but they officially declined. Four days before the national elections, we officially concluded the interview series.
The Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC) is in the process of revising its by-laws, particularly the penalties for schools that violate PEAC policies. The PEAC Executive Committee is planning to propose offenses and violations to the ESC Program that will be incorporated in the revision. If the Secretariat finds a PACU School on the negative list, the concerned school administration will be notified and stricter penalties will be imposed.
Furthermore, PEAC already approved the CORE program and 1M budget. It has processed all applications and now has 31 eligible schools to be included in this school improvement program. Moreover, the PEAC organized a separate orientation webinar for DepEd Schools Division Superintendents last August 15-17, 2022 to improve the implementation of the GASTPE Programs at the division level. Lastly, PEAC is also undergoing e-recertification of schools for SY 2022-2023 for the period October 3, 2022 to January 20, 2023. Meanwhile, the PEAC paid a courtesy call to VP Sec. Sara last August 4, 2022 and discussed issues involving private education. In the next PEAC regular meeting, she will be represented by Usec. Epimaco Densing III as PEAC Chair.
Apart from this update, we are grateful to Pres Patricia Lagunda and everyone involved in the preparation of the proposal for a bigger ASPIRE grant we received from PEAC. A portion of this grant will help to cover the expenses of our General Assembly and 90th Commemorative Book. The said grant will also help us continue our webinars, Leadership and Management Perspectives in Higher Education (LAMP) summit, Usapang Industriya series, Communities of Practice and other programs this school year.
The UNIFAST submitted to COCOPEA and PACU five lists for our prompt dissemination to the concerned HEIs. These lists include updates on the Philippine HEIs with (1) TES payments for release, (2) PHEIs awaiting NCAs (Notice of Cash Allotments), (3) ongoing submission of billing statements for SY 2020-2021, (4) no submission of billing statements for SY 2020-2021 and (5) no submission of liquidation reports. The Secretariat will send a copy of these lists to the member schools. Likewise, the UniFAST posts a 99.67% overall Budget Utilization Rate (BUR) of its continuing Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 allotment for the implementation of programs under RA 10931 (Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act). UniFAST is determined to utilize its PHP 44 billion allotment for FY 2021. By virtue of Republic Act 11640, the House of Representatives and the Senate extended the validity of the FY 2021 budget to December 31, 2022. However, no budget has been allocated for new TES beneficiaries. Only continuing beneficiaries are covered for this school year.
The Policy Committee Chair Pres Vincent Fabella and Co-Chair Pres Fred Ayala are actively involved in our initiative to allow blended learning and online learning as modes of delivery in Private Schools in addition to in-person classes this SY 2022-2023. Likewise, we continue to lobby for policies in recognition of the complementary role of private education and its contribution to nation building, such as forging collaborations as well as crafting a coalition roadmap in paving the way for a sustainable and viable future for Philippine private education.
As a big leap towards our future direction, PACU, with the assistance of PEAC and funding of the DepEd, commissioned the Complementarity Study Phase 2 of the original research of Dr. Vicente Paqueo and Dr. Aniceto Orbeta on “Strengthening the Complementarity of Private and Public Education Towards Greater Inclusion, Efficiency, and Freedom of Choice (Phase 2).” In this study, the research experts looked at the qualities of schools and students that could be significantly improved to ramp up the overall learning achievements of both public and private school students. It also reports on the issue of whether the choice of a private school matters in raising overall student learning outcomes.
The study answers the question of whether competition and availability of private schools induce improvements in student learning achievements and the ability of the national education system as a whole to efficiently respond to diverse and changing market demands for quality education. Getting the public and private sectors to work for complementarity forms the recommendation of the study which is a challenge and a huge call to action for the private education sector, specifically PACU.
Additionally, building up on the recommendations of the Strengthening Complementarity Research of Dr. Orbeta, Dr. Paqueo, et. al., and PACU together with selected experts and organizations arranged the first roundtable session with the coalition last September 9, 2022. The multisectoral group recommended: (1) increasing the voucher program budget for basic education by at least PHP 5.6 billion in the short-term and PHP 36 billion in the long-term; (2) expanding the coverage of voucher programs to include primary education and (3) increasing the voucher allocations for the tertiary level under the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) Fund or through other programs. We hope to secure the support of our legislators for the worthwhile initiative.
The Programs Committee is all set for the 90th General Assembly (GA) celebration and elections this coming September 17, 2022 either in-person at the Sheraton Manila Hotel or via ZOOM. It will be another hybrid event with the theme “Reimagining Philippine Private Education: Advocating Innovation and Sustainability.”
The event will be highlighted by the awarding of the PACU Person of the Year. The award is conferred to an individual who exhibits genuine understanding, integrity and dedicated support for private education, as well as outstanding service to Philippine education. The 2022 PACU Person of the Year Award selection committee is composed of Dr. Dhanna BautistaRodas, Dr. Karen Feliciano-De Leon and Dr. Patricia Bustos-Lagunda.
PACU member schools are encouraged to attend in-person and bring at least one companion during the general assembly. In order to stay safe, the minimum health and safety protocols will be strictly implemented. Attendees will also be required to present their vaccination cards and negative antigen test results upon entry.
We are happy to note that on the occasion of our 90th General Assembly, we have reinvigorated the engagement of our PACU members. Our continuing policy efforts, as well as our monthly events have increased our membership fee collection rate, particularly the number of members who have updated their payments and paid their past arrears. We wish to thank our Committee Chairman Pres. Bernard Villamor and Area Vice Presidents for reaching out to our members to celebrate our 90th General Assembly.
Meanwhile, we visited our conditional/provisional member schools namely Wesleyan University-Philippines, Malayan Colleges Laguna, Far Eastern University -Cavite, and Far Eastern University-Alabang and were recommended as bonafide members.
Industry Academe Linkage Committee
The Usapang Industriya series continued as the Industry Academe Linkage Committee presented its 6th and 7th installments of these webinars. Usapang Industriya Series 6: Teacher Education and Training Specialists in the Hyflex World was held in April in collaboration with the National Teachers College. This webinar articulated the implications of “hyflex” learning education, training and development.
We also launched a two-part Usapang Industriya series webinar on July 27, 2022. The Usapang Industriya Engineering Part 2 on “Strengthening Industry-Academe Linkage in Engineering” was held in the morning. The webinar was co-organized and designed by Cebu Institute of Technology – University and University of Mindanao. In the afternoon, the Usapang Industriya for Criminology was held with the theme “Kinabukasan ng Kriminolohiya sa Makabagong Panahon” organized by the Misamis University and Cagayan de Oro College with the support of Rex Education. Both webinars identified the key developments in policies and curricula; issues and challenges in the education and training of Engineering and Criminology graduates. Further, the committee plans to continue with the series of webinars for the various disciplines to provide an avenue to address the skills gap between academe, industry, and government agencies and to know the latest updates in job outlook, and emerging recruitment trends.
Committee on Institutional Quality and Improvement
The Committee on Institutional Quality Improvement (CIQI) held the 3rd Leadership and Management Perspective (LAMP) Summit last March 30 which focused on Building School Spirit in a Hyflex Environment. We would like to thank the Jose Rizal University, Centro Escolar University, University of the East, Baliuag University, PHINMA and the other member schools that shared their stories. The LAMP Summit will hold two more topics in the next two months.
Legal and Legislative Committee
Atty. Ada Abad updated PACU on the Create Law in the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) case. She stated that the board had already signed to this strategy by COCOPEA. The law firm of Atty. Benedict Tugonon had received a resolution from the CTA. The said Court has dismissed our appeal questioning BIRs Revenue Regulation 5- 2021 on the ground that it had already found the case moot and academic after the enactment of RA 11635. The interpretation of the law already clarified that the term nonprofit was to be interpreted strictly for hospitals and not proprietary schools. Because of this dismissal, Atty. Benedict raised a motion for reconsideration, intimating to the CTA that there were moves by the BIR to continue with the assessments made previously for the years 2018 to 2019. As regards to the motion for reconsideration, the CTA said that it did not find that the BIR continued its efforts to collect on those tax assessments made prior to 2018. The CTA dismissed the case with finality, leaving COCOPEA and PACU with two options. The first option was to raise it further through a motion for certiorari to the Supreme Court citing grave abuse of discretion on the part of CTA. The second option was to accept the denial or dismissal of our case. After the consultation, it was agreed therefore by Atty. Abad and Atty. Estrada that they will no longer bring it up to the Supreme Court to save on litigation costs and because it is quite difficult to prove grave abuse of discretion on the part of the CTA.
In the 18th Congress, the most recent education-related law passed was RA 11713, known as further Strengthening Teacher Education in the Philippines/Excellence in Teacher Education Act. The gist of the law is that the Teacher Education Council will serve as a responsive coordinating institution for the three major government entities involved in teacher education: the CHED, PRC, and the DepEd. The Teacher Education Council, CHED, and PRC will serve as preservice filters by regulating enrollment and graduation requirements in tertiary education forces and qualifications to enter the teaching profession.
Public Relations Committee
The Public Relations Committee has completed the PACU 90th Commemorative book led by Pres Marco Benitez with the assistance of the committee members and the PACU secretariat. A digital version of the commemorative book including the video messages of our important institutional partners and leaders is uploaded to PACU’s official website.
On behalf of the PR Committee, I would like to thank all those who have contributed their reflections, musings, and messages for the commemorative book which will be part of the 90th General Assembly kit. We also thank Clever Catch Inc. for helping us in the lay out of our Commemorative Book as well as Ms. Connie Ladrido, for proofreading, and our contributing writers.
In addition, we would also like to extend our sincere appreciation to the officers of our member schools who have shared articles in the latest issue of our PACU newsletter. We also acknowledge our valued corporate sponsors who have shown their support in PACU’s worthwhile endeavors. We thank Ms. Marivic Tirona and Mr. Jesus Sy of PWU for the lay out of our newsletter.
PACU has a proposal for a remote learning survey on funding for the internet connectivity of schools. This research will determine if we are getting the best value for our connectivity. Another purpose of the study will likely be for the PACU modality. We already have a list of schools willing to participate in the proposed connectivity and remote learning study. Our challenge is to source funds for our study.
On the other hand, the committee is working with Centro Escolar University in finalizing a proposal on digitizing the Critical Thinking Test. The goal is to translate the test from a pen and paper test into an online test to assess the critical thinking skills of tertiary level learners of PACU member schools.
In closing, when I started my term as PACU President, I said was taking on the insurmountable challenges with the commitment and humility given the responsibility of steering this storied organization. In a way, I can say my term was filled with daunting tasks in a very disruptive environment, not to mention, the transition challenges during these extraordinary times amidst the pandemic. If it were not for the unwavering support of my family, the members of the Perpetual community and most especially my PACU family, I would not have fulfilled my role as president.
Indeed, I am immensely grateful to the Almighty God, to my Tamayo family, particularly to my father Dr./Brig Gen. Antonio Tamayo and mother Dr. Daisy Tamayo, for their support and guidance on this journey. I would also like to thank the members of the UPHSD community for their “perpetual help.” And of course, I would like to express my monumental gratitude to my PACU family- the Board of Trustees, the Execom, the secretariat and especially the members who are the “life force” of PACU, for your dependable support, cooperation and understanding. I will always treasure your friendship. Thank you for always standing by my side, so we could surpass the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities in this new normal as we advocate for private education. In the Chronicles of Higher Education (2021), Dean Charles Deacon of Georgetown University said, “the pandemic is no longer a crisis to be managed, but rather an opportunity to reform the way colleges in the long run.”
So, this is it! All good things must come to an end. There are so many lessons that I take away from this meaningful experience which has given me greater resilience, agile focus, and a more reimagined view of life.
May the Lord continue to guide us in our next journey. Since we already started the ‘ber’ months, let me be the first to greet you advanced Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May God abundantly and perpetually bless you.
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on the past and look forward to the months ahead. Although the first few weeks of January registered another record-breaking number of COVID- 19 active cases in the country, Filipinos remain optimistic that 2022 will be a better year.
The year 2021 has once again tested the resiliency of our institutions. We hope that better times await us this year as long as we continue to work together in facing the seemingly insurmountable challenges that might lie ahead. Despite the difficulties that we encountered, we remained loyal to our purpose and grateful for the blessings of the Lord.
Enactment of RA 11635
One of the biggest blessings that we received this year was the enactment of Republic Act 11635 by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. The passage of the new tax law, RA 11635 or “An Act Amending Section 27 (B) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, As Amended, And For Other Purposes,” settled the income tax for proprietary educational institutions at 10%, with a concessionary rate of 1% under the CREATE Act. The passage of this clarificatory law has extended a lifeline to private schools
and the ecosystem of education-related businesses during the pandemic. The overwhelming support from our legislators on the swift passage and approval of House Bill 9913 and Senate Bill 2407, the early versions of the law, shows that education has indeed a special place in their hearts and that it is nonpartisan.
Furthermore, we would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Policy Committee Vice-Chair President Fred Ayala for spearheading PACU’s advocacy for the passage of RA 11635, COCOPEA Managing Director Atty. Joseph Estrada, PACU legal team headed by Atty. Anna Maria Abad and the other members of the COCOPEA/PACU CREATE team which includes President Guillermo Torres Jr., President Caroline Enriquez, Chancellor Vicente Pijano III, COO Christopher Tan, President Bernard
Villamor, President Faye Lauraya, President Marco Benitez, President Raymundo Reyes, Dr. Bernadette Nepomuceno, Legal Associate Ms. Maya Jajalla, and Executive Director Joyce Samaniego for their relentless efforts in getting the law passed. We also thank the University of Cebu Chairman and President Augusto Go for his guidance.
Thank you also to our COCOPEA leaders: Sr. Marissa Viri, RVM, CEAP President, Judge Benjamin Turgano (Ret.), ACSCU President, Dr. Lourdes Almeda-Sese, PAPSCU President, and Fr. Onofre Inocencio Jr., SDB, UniTVET President. We thank the school association networks who supported us such as the Davao Colleges and Universities Network (DACUN); the Association of Private, State Colleges, and Universities in Region XI (APSCUR XI) led by Association President Vicente Pijano III; the Bicol Association of Private Colleges and Universities (BAPCU) led by President Remelisa Alfelor-Moraleda; and CESAFI, an Association of Cebu Private Schools led by President Bernard Villamor.
Likewise, we extend our warmest appreciation to our PACU member schools for attending the numerous meetings and actively lobbying with their respective legislators and with the Executive branch to make this bill a reality.
We would also like to profoundly thank everyone for joining our online thanksgiving event last January 20, 2022, to pay tribute to our legislators who worked tirelessly and expeditiously to pass the law. The virtual event was graced by our honorees from the Senate and the House of Representatives.
During the COCOPEA general membership meeting last December 2021, the discussions were focused mostly on the effort of the associations to improve private education, particularly issues concerning the safe return to face-to-face classes in basic education and its expansion in higher education. COCOPEA and PACU helped in the crafting of the interim guidelines on the expansion of limited face-to-face classes in the original pilot schools and the start of the progressive expansion
phase for both public and private schools by the Department of Education.
Furthermore, COCOPEA and PACU will join DepEd in the evaluation and monitoring of the pilot schools to give us the opportunity to present our inputs. This initiative will provide an overview of how the opening of the pilot classes turned out. In addition, DepEd has given us the flexibility to implement
face-to-face classes as long as the safety of the students is our paramount concern. Hopefully, when conditions on the ground improve, more schools will participate in the optional limited face-to-face classes in the coming school year.
Similarly, CHED also issued JMC 004, s. 2021 regarding the Guidelines on the Implementation of Limited Face-to-Face Classes for All Programs of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Areas under Alert Levels System for COVID-19 Response. The JMC shall serve as a guide for HEIs intending to hold optional limited face-to-face classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COCOPEA and PACU collaborated with CHED so that even without their onsite inspections HEIs can start the limited reopening of their campuses provided they complied with the provisions of JMC 004, s. 2021 and other pertinent issuances of the DOH and IATF, collaborated with their respective LGUs and consulted with their stakeholders. The schools should also be willing to retrofit their facilities and implement the health and safety standards coming from CHED, DOH, and the IATF.
As we believe that education is pivotal in propelling the country’s development to greater heights, COCOPEA plans to have the following initiatives: a) release a statement or position on the elections, b) conduct voters education, and c) hold an online event for the presidentiables, among others subject to the approval of the associations.
Fourth Quarter Push
During the fourth quarter of 2021, together with other socio-civic organizations, COCOPEA and PACU actively participated in the formulation of a series of recommendations to the IATF dubbed as “Fourth Quarter Push” in so far as issues connected to schools, colleges, and universities are concerned. Private Educational Institutions (PEIs) will be allowed to expand to optional limited face-to-face operations from Grade 4 to Grade 12 in basic education and all programs in higher education via
staggered cohorts and in compliance with the Minimum Public Health Standards (MPHS). It also mandated the vaccination of students ages 12-17 from basic education, all students in higher education, and all teaching and non-teaching personnel who are required or allowed to work in-campus. In addition, COCOPEA and PACU suggested mandating vaccination and upgrading the priority level of students, teachers, and school personnel.
Another recommendation is to push for the accomplishment of the DepEd School Safety Assessment Tool (SSAT) and the CHED Self-Assessment Checklist, the LGU clearances as well as a certification that the school has fully complied with the MPHS as provided in the DepEd, CHED, and DOH Guidelines. These measures allow schools, colleges, and universities to require parents to sign informed consent forms and waivers against liabilities concerning COVID-19.
Finally, another recommendation is to push for the creation of a Joint Public-Private Task Force to provide the appropriate guidelines to ensure a safe environment for all stakeholders in the private education sector and protect them from COVID-19.
COCOPEA and PACU, in coordination with the T3 Task Force, have participated in the national vaccination drive that ended last December 17, 2021. In addition, during a COCOPEA meeting, CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera requested if PHEIs can continue to volunteer as vaccination sites, particularly to cluster smaller schools so that more students and faculty can have their vaccination and booster shots. The CHED has also mandated schools to submit a weekly progress report on the number of vaccinated students. In view of the above indications, CHED provides health updates in the respective areas of schools taking into consideration that the newest measure is not the number of active cases but the vaccination rate in the locality. In addition, as the vaccination of children between 5 to 11 years old has also rolled out, we are hoping that more of our education stakeholders will be safe and protected with only minimal side effects.
As part of the Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC) board, we signed an MOA with the Department of Education (DepEd) for the co-implementation of the GASTPE Programs for the school year 2021-2022 last November 2021. This MOA is in recognition of the PEAC’s capacity to implement the national subsidy programs of the government such as the Education Service Contracting (ESC), the Senior High School Voucher Program (SHS VP), and the In-Service Training (INSET) for private
junior and senior high school teachers.
As of December 2021, the PEAC has processed and submitted to DepEd the ESC billing statements that cover 698,467 grantees with a total grant amount of Php 6.7 billion and SHS VP billing statements for 680,743 program beneficiaries with a total grant amount of Php11.9 billion. In SY 2021-2022, there are 3,221 participating junior high schools and 3,904 participating senior high schools that have created billing statements in the ESC Information Management System (ESC IMS) and the Voucher Management System (VMS).
In addition, PACU was part of the first virtual Philippine Education Conference (2021 PhilEd), a gathering of educational leaders and teachers that is held every two years. Highlights of the event included plenary sessions with international experts from the United States, Singapore, and Vietnam as well as a panel discussion with Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, Rep. Roman Romulo, Sec. Karlo Nograles, Bro. Armin Luistro, FSC, Dr. Chito Salazar, and Prof. Paul Glewwe from the University of Minnesota
as keynote speaker.
To further intensify the delivery of universal access to quality education, the CHED leadership of UniFAST issued three Memorandum Circulars (MC), namely: MC 4 s. of 2021; MC 5 s. of 2021; and MC 6 s. of 2021. MC 4 s. 2021 contains the interim guidelines on the implementation of the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, MC 5 s. 2021 speaks of amendments to the UniFAST MC 2 s. of 2021. MC 6 s. 2021 further improves UniFAST’s inclusive
and flexible commitment to students during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a member of the UniFAST Board, we attended the 37th and 38th Regular Meetings, the 7th Special Meetings, and the TWG Meeting for the improvement of TES implementation. We constantly followed up on the payments of our schools for the TES and the allocation of funds. To ensure the continuous
release of TES funds, UniFAST has requested us to prompt the private HEIs concerned to submit their liquidation documents to their respective CHED Regional Offices (CHEDROs) as soon as possible and be mindful of the deadline for the submission of liquidation documents to facilitate the efficient and timely release of TES funds.
The face-to-face guidelines for DepEd and CHED were discussed in a recent PACU board meeting. For DepEd face-to-face classes in the expanded phase (all levels), private schools shall submit a letter of intent including their timelines and contingency plans. The shared responsibility and proper assignment of risks among education stakeholders were also tackled. On the other hand, CHED states that it is the student’s choice whether to go to their campuses or not.
We also shared that the tuition fee increase consultation deadline reverted to the old schedule of every February. However, upon the advice of Dr. Vicente Fabella, COCOPEA wrote to CHED to stick to the deadline of May which was set last year due to the pandemic. Information has reached us that this
request has been approved but that the department concerned is still drafting the guidelines as of this writing. We have a similar situation pending with DepEd.
As campaign season starts, the policy committee suggests that PACU be involved in education-related issues but remain non- partisan. Some of the proposed initiatives of the committee are the following: a) release a statement or position on the elections, b) conduct voter education activities, and c) hold
an online event for the presidentiables to know more about their education agenda, among others. Lastly, the committee will also vet proposals from various organizations on voter education programs.
Legal and Legislative Committee
As regards our CREATE concerns, RA 11635 was already published in the Official Gazette, Volume 118, No. 2, Page 104, last January 10, 2022, thus became effective on January 25, 2022. We are waiting for the Department of Finance to issue pertinent implementing rules and regulations (IRR).
In addition, Atty. Abad discussed the IATF guidelines and restrictions implemented under Quarantine Alert Levels 2 and 3 as well as the Restrictions Against Unvaccinated Individuals in NCR. She also tackled the rules on the suspension of classes. She opined that the LGUs’ suspension of classes is believed to be a patent encroachment of the HEI’s academic freedom to determine how, when, and whom to teach, and how to operate the business. She added that class suspension is most certainly
an academic function and well within the prerogatives of the school management. Both CHED and DepEd have issued statements consistent on this matter.
Industry Academe Linkage Committee
Our Industry Academe and Linkages Committee is at the forefront in bridging the gap between the academe and industry. The committee continued holding the Usapang Industriya Series for the various fields through webinars. Usapang Industriya Series 4 was held on November 26, 2021, with the theme “The Future of IT Industry – Job Outlook and Emerging Recruitment Trends.” It was spearheaded by Mapua University and Globe Business. The most recent one is the Usapang Industriya Series 5 with
the theme “Preparing Tourism and Hospitality Graduates for An Industry Focused on Sustainable and Inclusive Growth.” It was held this February and organized by the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA, Lyceum of the Philippines University- Manila, and PATTS College of Aeronautics, with support
from REX Education. All Usapang Industriya webinars were supported by PEAC through the ASPIRE Program. The upcoming series will feature Strengthening Industry-Academe Linkages in Engineering Part 2 (Usapang Industriya 6) and a series on Education (Usapang Industriya 7). The plan is to hold a total of seven Usapang Industriya series until the first trimester of 2022.
Moreover, we are finalizing the MOA with GAIN Network to intensify PACU’s partnership with government agencies and industry or sectors to enhance the employability of the Philippine workforce and reviewing the curriculum to increase the competitiveness of our graduates here and abroad.
The Membership Committee warmly welcomes Malayan Colleges Laguna led by its President, Dr. Dodgie S. Maestrecampo as our newest member. We have met Dr. Maestrecampo virtually. However, we are still looking forward to physically visiting our new member school soon. As of February 2022, PACU has a total number of 196 members.
Further, technology has been vital in maintaining our links to each other by making full use of virtual meetings, one of which is the PACUmustahan. For this period, we have conducted five PACUmustahan sessions to get in touch with our members. Lastly, the committee is also working on updating, enhancing, and securing our PACU communication channels.
Our Programs Committee is also making full use of technology in developing creative collaborations not only among PACU members but also with other higher education stakeholders.
The Programs Committee has organized a total of five webinars on various topics from September 2021, to January 2022. During the PACU General Assembly, Dr. Rick Mann, Professor of Leadership and Strategy at the Treveca Nazarene University and book author, delivered the keynote address and discussed “Resiliency, Survival, and Sustainability Beyond the Pandemic Times.” We thank Mr. Joey Neil Canaya for ably moderating and hosting the learning session with Dr. Mann.
Meanwhile, we are very grateful to our members for the success of our Leadership Summit in partnership with COCOPEA and Franklin Covey Philippines entitled “The Business of Education:
Preparing Students for A Changing World” held last November 24, 2021. Mr. Sean Covey, President of Franklin Covey Education and New York best-selling author delivered the keynote address. Breakout sessions with Franklin Covey facilitators were also held to highlight real solutions to help school leaders, educators, and students in today’s world. The summit was well attended with over 600 participants.
In cooperation with COCOPEA and in partnership with Globe Business, we held a round table discussion with the theme “HyFlex Learning: Owning Filipino Education” on November 29, 2021. It provided a fresh perspective for studying the challenges and changes of achieving national education expectations in this new normal. We thank Centro Escolar University President, Dr. Ma. Cristina Padolina and Jose Rizal University President, Dr. Vicente Fabella for joining the panel.
In addition, another project of the Programs Committee was made in collaboration with REX Education. PACU partnered with REX in holding the Annual Educators’ Congress (AECON) 2022 with the theme “Keeping it Real: Institutionalizing Evidence- based Practice for a Learner-Centered School.” PACU was assigned to co-present the two-hour breakout session entitled: “Evidence-based Practices on Non-Face-to-Face Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.” We thank Philippine Women’s College Chancellor, Vicente Pijano III, and Centro Escolar University VPAA, Dr. Teresa Perez for sharing their best practices and for representing PACU.
Moreover, a webinar held last February 16, 2022, was EDUtech- Google’s “The Future Classroom: Technology-enabled Hybrid Learning Models from K12 to Higher Ed” with Dr. Michael Joseph Diño, Director of Research Development and Innovation Center of Our Lady of Fatima University, as resource speaker.
The programs committee also conducted a needs assessment survey which will serve as a reference for the line-up of webinars in 2022. The top three challenges that appeared in the survey are the following: 1) speed and stability of internet connections for students and faculty, 2) academic integrity of student activities, and 3) student engagement and motivation in online classes. Desired topics for seminars and workshops include: a) engagement, instruction, or teaching techniques, b) creating
assessment or assessment tools (hybrid and online), and c) digital skills enhancement.
Finally, we have signed an MOA with Globe-Business as a sponsor in our various projects and an MOU with Microsoft Philippines to conduct a skilling initiative for our member school recipients. We also have a proposal from Terrapinn, an international events media group that organizes the annual EduTech Asia and EduTech Philippines for promotional and co-sponsorship of webinars and events.
Committee on Institutional Quality and Improvement
The Committee on Institutional Quality Improvement (CIQI) is using technology to gather school leaders in the challenges of maintaining quality management. We have launched the PACU Leadership and Management Perspective (LAMP) Summit in August 2021. LAMP 1 tackled Quality Management for Non-Academic Aspects of School Operations during the Pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Second LAMP Summit held on November 11, 2021, carried the theme “Going Hyflex in Higher Education.” We thank our speakers: Dr. Ma. Cristina Padolina, President of Centro Escolar University, Dr. Reynaldo Vea, President of Mapua University, Dr. Faye Lauraya, President of University Nueva Caceres, and Prof. Vicente Pijano III, Chancellor of Philippine Women’s College of Davao. The event was attended by 208 participants consisting of School Presidents, VPAAs, and Deans. This year, CIQI will focus on Building School Spirit in a Hyflex Environment for the third installment of the LAMP Summit.
Public Relations Committee
The Public Relations Committee was able to release an unprecedented 100-page PACU newsletter Vol. XI-II issue last September 2021. We would like to acknowledge the member schools that have contributed articles in the last issue. Likewise, thank you very much to those who have contributed to our latest issue this February 2022.
Regarding our social media accounts, the PACU FB page has over 4,156 likes and 6,013 followers. Our PACU FB page is regularly updated to serve as one of our channels of communication to member schools on our upcoming activities and announcements.
Together with ExeCom, another major project of the committee this year is the PACU 90th Anniversary Coffee Table Book. We encourage our member schools to join the various committees for this project namely: finance or ways and means, programs, commemorative publication, editorial team, public relations, and the search for the PACU Person of the Year.
The Research Committee is proposing to conduct a study on remote learning modes in partnership with the Far Eastern University Public Policy Center (FEUPPC) to get answers on remote learning topics such as: a) learning modes suited to circumstances of students, b) satisfaction of students with internet connectivity and performance of teachers, c) preparedness of teachers, students, parents for remote learning, and d) effectivity of remote learning in terms of learning outcomes. Moreover, during the January 5, 2022 PACUmustahan, Far Eastern University President, Dr. Michael Alba, shared their report on the Internet Connectivity Survey of FEU Manila students.
PACU is also part of the research team that conducted a survey on the study of Philippine History which is a project of a group of universities in Metro-Manila and a review of selected Grade 5 and 6 Araling Panlipunan textbooks led by Dr. Maria Serena Diokno of the Diokno Foundation.
In the meantime, a critical thinking test by Dr. Marcos Lopez of Centro Escolar University was administered to CEU. The Committee proposes two changes: 1) a conversion from onsite to an online test; and 2) from assessment norms specific to CEU to test guidelines implementable to schools nationwide, in particular to PACU-members schools.
In another project, the research committee has also worked closely with the World Bank in its research studies in the field of education. The first is the “World Bank Study: Digitally Enhanced Learning and Teaching (DELT) in Philippines’ Higher Education Institutions” where some of our member schools
participated. The key findings are the following: a) digital skill gaps exist between teaching and non-teaching personnel, b) the top barriers include lack of digital devices and connectivity as well as lack of digital infrastructure on the part of HEIs, c) private HEIs need more advanced and adequate hardware/
software, d) sufficient and sustainable funding for digitization, e) clear policies for deciding on new technologies, f) the need for schools to prioritize digital resources and infrastructure, and g) strengthening access among teachers and students.
Additionally, the World Bank recently asked the help of PACU to encourage a few of our members to participate in their Career Services Survey for Administration with the objectives of understanding the challenges faced by students’ transitions to the job market; assessing the current provision of career
guidance services for students; and helping define program opportunities for improving student transitions to work.
Extending a Helping Hand
On behalf of the PACU Board and the ExeCom, we would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to our member schools for extending their financial assistance to our members in Visayas and Mindanao who were severely affected by typhoon Odette. These donors are the following: Baliuag University, Calayan
Educational Foundation, Inc., Capitol University, Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation, Misamis University, Philippine Women’s University, Pines City Colleges, Technological Institute of the Philippines, Tomas Claudio Colleges, University of Perpetual Help System DALTA, and Western Institute of Technology. We also thank Saint Tonis College, Inc. of ACSCU and the Private Education Assistance Committee for responding to our call.
We were able to raise Php 492,000.00 for our 13 member schools namely: Bohol Northern Star College, Cebu Doctor’s University, Cebu Institute of Technology-University, Cebu Roosevelt Memorial College, Northeastern Mindanao Colleges, Salazar Colleges of Science and Institute of Technology, Siargao Island Institute of Technology, Southwestern University, University of Bohol, University of Cebu, University of Southern Philippines Foundation, University of the Visayas, and Velez College. Their
donations have greatly alleviated the plight and mitigated the sufferings of all severely affected PACU member schools in the areas mentioned, including its students, faculty, and staff.
We also thank Cebu Pacific, Gifting Life Philippines, and Mr. Elvin Uy, Executive Director of Philippine Business for Social Progress, for their help in facilitating the delivery of water filtration systems to the University of Bohol and the Cebu Institute of Technology- University in the critical time when safe drinkingwater was scarce.
Hope and Grateful Spirit of Service
In closing, I would like to express my sincerest thanks to the Board, the ExeCom, the different Committee Chairpersons, the Secretariat, and all the member Schools for your continued trust, support, understanding, guidance, and cooperation.
I hope that we can already transition from a pandemic to an endemic. I believe that we are all eager to see each other in person, to physically attend our meetings, and interact with our students without any fear of getting infected with the virus. Let us remain agile and resilient as we transition to the next normal. May the Lord bless and guide us as one PACU family.
President’s Report Sept 2021
Dr. Anthony M. Tamayo
As we start the “ber months,” we enter the Christmas Season with some trepidation, but with a lot of hope and joy. Despite the challenges we are facing, we have another important reason to be excited and optimistic.
As it stands, we are in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and many of us may have lost those close to us to the Lord’s loving embrace. Many of us may have friends and relatives who are COVID-positive. We have also lost teachers, students, employees and other stakeholders because of this crisis. But despite the endless challenges of the pandemic and other concerns, our work in PACU and in the private education sector as a whole continues. We have to persevere.
I would like to express my profound thanks to our PACU Board and the Execom for their guidance and support. I would also like to thank our PACU working committee chairpersons together with their co-chairs and members for your hard work and perseverance. Thank you so much Dr. Vincent Fabella (Policy Committee), Engr. Bernard Villamor (Membership Committee), Ms. Laurice Juarez (Programs Committee), Fr. Manny Manimtim (Research Committee), Atty. Ada Abad, (Legal and Legislative Committee), Mr. Marco Benitez (PR Committee), Dr. Raymundo Reyes (Industry Linkage Committee), and Dr. Patricia Lagunda (Institutional Quality and Improvement Committee) for successfully pulling off the projects and activities lined up this fiscal year amid the crisis. I would also like to acknowledge our reliable and efficient secretariat led by ED Joyce Samaniego together with Ria Loscano, and AiroI Alfiler.
I still hope that you will continue to support and cooperate, especially now that the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines (COCOPEA) chairmanship has been given to PACU. I truly appreciate your presence during the formal installation rites of the new set of the Board of Trustees of COCOPEA in its first virtual ceremonies. I also took solace in the fact that the great minds in education are bound together in facing one of the biggest battles in the private education sector, the immense problem concerning our corporate income taxes.
CREATE Law Revenue Regulation: A Call for Unified Action
The private education sector withstood the myriad disruptions in our VUCA environment such as the K to 12 basic education program and free higher education tuition in state and local colleges and universities. While we are still facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the “mother of all disruptions,” the problematic Revenue Regulation (RR) 5-2021 came upon us. The schools and its stakeholders are now under greater siege. At the macro level, our human capital development, nation building and competitiveness have also been adversely affected.
Likewise, another major endeavor that COCOPEA together with other private educational organizations and institutions are pursuing, through the leadership of PACU, is the clarificatory legislation on SECTION 27(B) of the national internal revenue code of 1997 (NIRC) to remove any and all doubts on the preferential income tax rate of 10% granted by law to proprietary educational institutions, and the concessionary income tax rate of 1% from June 2020 to July 2023 under the CREATE Law. For more details on the Create Law, please refer to the Legal Updates section of this newsletter by Atty. Ada Abad.
Mother Teresa once said, “Together we can do great things.” PACU along with our colleagues in COCOPEA, have joined forces and held endless meetings to discuss strategies to be undertaken by HEIs to correct the erroneous provisions of RR 5-2021. The corporate income taxes was pegged by the CREATE Law at one percent for the period between 2020 to 2023 as a form of relief for schools during the pandemic then the corporate income taxes will be brought up to the regular corporate income tax rate of 25 % by 2023 onwards. This change is a 150 percent increase from the original and rightful preferential corporate income taxes of 10 %. BIR RR no. 5-2021 further states that requires proprietary educational institutions to be “non-profit” entities before they can enjoy the 1% recovery income tax rate under the CREATE Act. This requirement puts proprietary educational institutions in imminent danger of being subject to the regular corporate income taxes of 25%, which is directly contrary to the spirit of the CREATE Act and the Constitution, the fundamental law of the land to which all other laws must adhere.
We exhausted administrative remedies. Aside from conducting surveys, we also consulted experts and requested member schools to give their advice and support. We submitted more than 10 letters to the Senate, House of Representatives, Department of Finance (DOF), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as well as more than 40 letters of the same content sent to different addressees, all on the CREATE RR. We have intensified our signature campaigns in schools. A total of 624 schools signed the petition to DOF Secretary Dominguez and 600 schools signed the petition to President Duterte regarding Revenue Regulation No 5 S 2021. Around 5,500 school administrators, teachers, staff and students signed an online petition urging President Duterte to intervene in the rectification of BIR RR 5-2021. We have published open letters in newspapers and social media as well. When we learned that the DOF and the BIR denied our appeal to correct the detrimental provisions of the said revenue regulation and revenue memorandum circulars, we had to go through the judicial route.
Furthermore, through our collective efforts and the support of many legislators, House Bill No. 9913 was approved on 3rd Reading by the House of Representatives and now elevated to the Senate for its counterpart bill as required by the Constitution on tax measures. Senate Bill No. 2272 has been approved at the level of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and now scheduled for Second and Third Reading. We are hopeful that SB 2272 will be approved before the session of the Senate breaks on the early part of October for the filing of certificates of candidacy of those running for the 2022 National Elections.
These measures aim to clarify with finality the spirit of the law that all proprietary educational institutions are granted the preferential tax rate of 10%, which they have been entitled to since 1968. At present, this tax rate was pegged by the CREATE Law at 1% for the period 2020 to 2023 as a form of relief for schools during the pandemic.
The enactment of this clarificatory law will certainly help all stakeholders – proprietary educational institutions, as taxpayers, and its stakeholders of faculty, school personnel, students, and even the informal industries relying primarily on the continuous operations of these schools (i.e. carinderias, uniform makers, shuttle services, printers, food kiosks, among others).
Ultimately, when the final bill is signed into law, it will ease concerns on our survival, resiliency and sustainability as well as allow us to focus our attention on our respective missions which include nation building through fulfilling our complementary role of helping the government provide quality education to our students.
In this view, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to Senator Sonny Angara for immediately leading the sponsorship of SB2272, and to his 13 co-authors especially Senator Pia Cayetano for urgently acting as Ways and Means Committee Chairperson; the members of the House of Representatives for their efforts in marshaling the bill in the Lower House; Representative Joey Salceda, Ways and Means Committee Chairman; Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez; Chairman Sharon S. Garin, Committee on Economic Affairs along with the other four (4) principal authors Representative Francisco Benitez, Representative Mark Go, Representative Joy Tambunting and Representative Luis Villafuerte as well as the 70 co-authors of HB 9913 who have been very supportive of our plight. We at PACU are delighted that the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate have listened to the call of the private education sector to save it from further economic peril.
In addition, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Policy Committee vice-chair Pres. Fred Ayala, for spearheading the resolution of our tax problems, COCOPEA Managing Director Atty. Joseph Estrada, PACU legal team headed by Atty. Ada Abad, other members of COCOPEA/PACU “CREATE team,” Pres. Guillermo Torres, Jr., Chancellor Vicente Pijano, Pres. Caroline Enriquez, COO Dr. Christopher Tan, Pres. Bernard Villamor, Pres. Marco Benitez and Pres. Fay Lauraya for their relentless efforts in helping get these bills to where they are right now. Thank you also to Sr Marissa Viri, RVM of CEAP, Judge Benjamin Turgano,(Ret) of ACSCU, Dr. Lourdes Almeda-Sese of PAPSCU, Fr. Onofre Inocencio Jr., SDV of TVSA as well as to Chancellor Vicente Pijano III, Davao Colleges and Universities Network (DACUN), Association of Private, State Colleges, and Universities in Region XI (APSCUR XI); Atty. Remelisa Alfelor- Moraleda, Bicol Association of Private Colleges and Universities (BAPCU); and Engr. Bernard Villamor, CESAFI Association of Cebu Private Schools.
I am confident that with all your support and fervent prayers, the Senate will swiftly pass their counterpart bill Senate Bill 2272, which will facilitate a law clarifying the grant of a preferential tax rate at 10%. With the country’s ongoing learning crisis, we should focus in delivering quality education to our learners, who we must develop to be the future leaders and a part of the competitive workforce of our country.
This legislation would finally provide stability on the policy environment affecting the tax regime of proprietary educational institutions by clarifying the correct interpretation of the law in favor of proprietary educational institutions. Ultimately, this law will put an end to the fears of many proprietary educational institutions that at any time they could be assessed by the taxing authority for deficiencies using the erroneous income tax rate.
Optional Limited Face to Face (F2F) Classes in Higher Education
As we continue to thrive in the new normal, we have also pushed the approval of limited optional F2F classes, which led to the CHED and DOH Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 2021-001 regarding the guidelines on the gradual reopening of HEIs for limited optional face-to-face instruction.
This JMC is one of the biggest achievements of the TWG of CHED on flexible learning with Dr. Caroline Enriquez, Dr. Cristina Padolina, Mr. Augusto Fabella, and Dr. Edizon Fermin as members. Early this year under the JMC, the following programs were approved Medicine, Nursing, Medical Technology, Physical Therapy, Public Health, and Midwifery was approved. After two months, CHED released JMC titled the “Guidelines on the Conduct of Clinical Internship for Dentistry, Respiratory Therapy, Pharmacy, Radiologic Technology, Occupational Therapy, Nutrition and Dietetics, Master of Science in Nursing, and Master of Science in Asian Health Practices courses. Just recently, CHED and DOH issued an amendment to JMC No. 2021-001 entitled “Guidelines on the Gradual Reopening of Campuses of HEIs for Limited face-to-face classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.” For HEIs located in ECQ, MECQ and GCQ with heightened restrictions areas, CHED may give them authority to conduct limited optional F2F classes in compliance with the JMC.
There is an urgent need for the country to have more healthcare workers. We have to do our best to continue delivering quality education so that our students can graduate, pass the board exam and serve the country. We should do our share in providing a safe learning environment for our students, faculty and staff.
Furthermore, we hope that succeeding policy recommendations in the pipeline such as Engineering, IT, Maritime, and Hotel and Restaurant Management programs will soon be approved.
SHS Implementation in SUCs/LUCs
Meanwhile, at a meeting with CHED, the Guidelines for SHS implementation of LUCs and SUCs were discussed. We reminded the CHED of their Memo no 33 s 2015 that their SHS operation shall be limited to the K to 12 transition period only – SY 2016-2017 to SY 2020-2021. Hence, they shall no longer accept SHS students unless they are a teacher-education institute and should follow the prescribed enrollment caps.
Recently, I also joined the UniFast board where standing issues on the enrollment caps and opening of oversubscribed courses in SUCs were discussed. We need to urge UniFAST to show the ongoing trend on tuition fee caps that the governing board of the SUCs approved. The number of freshmen to be accepted every year shall be based on enrollment capacity of each university based on faculty-student ratio, available classrooms and available faculty to ensure the quality of education. This concern is being reported to the CHED so there is no reason why the UNIFAST Board shouldn’t know. The same policy applies to LUCs. This is based on UNIFAST MEMO CIRCULAR 2018-02, Rule II (3).
Meanwhile, UniFAST released the interim guidelines to ensure the faster implementation of the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) considering the difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the provisions of the JMC of the UniFAST DBM-JMC. Now, the first semester TES need not be liquidated before the second semester TES is released. Also, electronic submissions are allowed. However, after 60 days at the end of the second semester, all original documents should be submitted and the TES should be fully liquidated.
As a member of the PEAC, I participated in several meetings, in the crafting of the Memorandum of Agreement with DepED for SY 2021-2022. PEAC will once again serve as the implementer of Expanded Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education E-GASTPE. It is hoped that the DepED will sign the said MOA soon.
In addition, PACU joined PEAC in its information drive for the participation of schools in its various programs. The certification and orientation seminars for participating schools were held for GATSPE SY 2021-2022. The focus was on the 2021 orientation on the ESC, TSS Programs and SHS Voucher Programs.
The PACU Board and the Policy Committee met with CHED Chairperson Prospero “Popoy” de Vera III to discuss the extension of the “autonomous” and “deregulated” status of schools as well as the application for the Center of Development (COD) and Center of Excellence (COE). In April, the Commission released CMO no. 07 s. 2021, or the “Extension of the Validity Period of Autonomous and Deregulated Status Granted to Private Higher Education Institutions from June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2023.” Based on the order, 46 PACU member schools had been granted or had their “autonomous” and “deregulated” status extended until May 31, 2023.
On the timeline on the processing of applications to increase tuition and other school fees (TOSF) for AY 2021-2022, consultation was adjusted from February to May and submission was adjusted from April 1 to before July 1. The CHED had urged the group to implement a “no tuition increase” policy except for miscellaneous fees.
In another development, PACU was a signatory to the PBED Statement released on April 19 titled “Teachers are frontline workers: COVID-19 vaccination priority.” Teachers are advanced from the B1 category to A4 for the delivery of an essential public service – education. We were part also of meetings with the IATF and Senate calling for the prioritization of teachers. There was a Senate Resolution to this effect and Atty Ada released several advisories on allowing skeletal workforce in schools during the ECQ/MECQ periods. Protecting teachers from the virus will build confidence in our education system and will fast track the safe reopening of schools. We are working with DepEd in the crafting of guidelines for the pilot face to face classes in basic education schools.
Legal and Legislative Committee
PACU also joined the E-GASTPE Congressional hearings, which provide government financial assistance to elementary students so they can continue their education and to teachers so they can further develop their professional skills.
In addition, we participated in the Senate hearings on the creation of the Congressional Commission on Education Act (EDCOM 2). Its purpose is to assess and evaluate the state of Philippine education and recommend disruptive and targeted reforms in education.
PACU and COCOPEA also joined forces for another vital piece of legislation in Senate Bill 2312, or an “Act Establishing the Teacher Education for Achievers Program to Improve the Quality of Teachers in the Philippines.” This bill is meant to address the learning crisis and respond to the call for the examination of the effectiveness of a teacher certification system as well as the quality of graduate education for teachers.
To implement the program, the State shall provide scholarships to qualified applicants to enable them to pursue education and training in the areas of learning and education
Industry Academe Committee
I would also like to acknowledge the Industry Academe Linkages Committee for bridging the gap between the academe and the industry through the “Usapang Industriya” project. The objective is to foster greater collaboration and new partnerships within and outside the education community to help colleges and universities anticipate and address the challenges of the times and contribute to nation building.
The webinar series was held at different months of the year. Our Lady of Fatima University and Wesleyan University hosted the first webinar on Health Sciences. The University of Iloilo conducted a session on Engineering while Jose Rizal University and REX Bookstore presented the session on Business, Management and Accountancy. In the upcoming sessions, Mapua University will host the IT professional industry while the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA and Lyceum of the Philippines University will tackle HRM and tourism tracks.
We are also conducting two parallel trainings on Cloud Computing with Amazon Web Services through their AWS Academy Quick Start Program and Microsoft Azure Virtual Training. The certification fee is free and subsidized by our partners at AWS and Microsoft exclusively for PACU members.
One of the vital functions of the Membership Committee is to bring our community closer together. We conduct our “PACUmustahan” where we meet regularly every second Wednesday of the month to get in touch with the general members and open up institutional challenges that we similarly face, and suggest/share solutions and best practices. This activity is also an opportunity for our suppliers to present their products and services. In the months of March to September, some of our potential partners and suppliers such as Sebitech, ClassIn, Cloudswyft, Schoolista, Edusuite, Frontlearners, Bukas, InvestEd Philippines, and Lecturio joined the PACUmustahan.
Membership and Programs Committees, plan to improve communication among members. The goal of this effort is to increase active participation in PACU activities. We are reiterating their call for more members to join the various committees in PACU. Only by working together can we achieve the objectives of the association.
As of August 2021, PACU has 195 members, 54 (28%) from NCR, 91 (47%) from Luzon, 25 from Visayas (13%), and 25 (13%) from Mindanao. Strategically, there are advantages to being a member of PACU. Because of this demonstrated value-proposition, we expect more members to be active and new institutions to join us.
The Membership Committee has also updated the membership profiles and will later process four pending applications.
The Programs Committee created the PACU Community of Practice (COP), an online Facebook group for PACU members which aims to develop educators, staff and leaders in Higher Education through creative collaborations that connect backgrounds, resources, geographies, and disciplines. Such as the Community pantry concept, this activity is a safe space specially created for faculty members, school administrators and staff and feel free to participate in the conversations and share ideas as well as resources. We also have the regular “PACUwentuhan” weekly gatherings every Friday afternoon. Join now in our very own professional learning community! The PACU COP has now 145 members since its launch in June.
During the first quarter of the year, PACU also conducted several vaccination information campaigns for our stakeholders to disseminate more knowledge about COVID-19 vaccines and to enlighten them on the different views on vaccines. We have produced an online communication material on Frequently Asked Questions about vaccines and vaccination.
Furthermore, PACU has conducted a webinar series entitled “Private Education Planning for COVID-19 Vaccines.” We were very fortunate to have a powerhouse group of resource speakers: Rev. Fr. Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, OP; Dr. Enrique Tayag, and Dr. Anna Ong-Lim. Part 2 of the webinar learning series was graced by Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho, Mr. Guillermo Luz, Dr. Rizzy Alejandro and Dr. Manuel Montinola and Dr. Nancy Bermal from Unilab. We discussed the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan and how it will be implemented by the national government, local government units, as well as partners in the private sector to reach the target population with the goal of minimizing if not eliminating COVID-19 related deaths and hospitalizations.
In addition, we have also responded to the call of CHED to designate our campuses as vaccination sites to help LGUs reach their desired vaccination rates. PACU schools with Medicine and Nursing programs were also tapped by Chairman Popoy De Vera and Sec. Vince Dizon to take part in bumping up the vaccination program as the surge of the DELTA variant has forced an influx of new infections.
In June, PACU joined UNILAB in bringing “Usapang Bakuna, Usaping Pampamilya” with Dr. Anna Ong-Lim, Dr. Karl Henson and Dr. Joseph Adrian Buensalido as resource speakers. ED Joyce Samaniego also shared how schools are preparing for limited face to face classes and the need for vaccination among teachers and school employees.
In addition, PACU organized a two-part webinar series with PLDT on “E-industry: Online Forum for E-Learning and the E-bossing Online Classes. Pres. Anthony Tamayo together with the PLDT Executives and technology providers talked about online learning during the pandemic and the efforts of CHED, the Academe and School leaders to quickly transform brick and mortar classrooms to 21st century “blended/online learning” counterparts. It also presented back to school plans that empower students as well as teachers studying and working from home.
Moreover, we held two webinars with our partner, ClassIn. The first webinar is on “The Hybrid Campus: Redesigning our Schools and the Student Experience.” The other webinar was entitled: “EdTech Coaching 101: How to Guide Teachers Integrate Tech Meaningfully in the Pandemic” co-presented with ClassIn, PEAC and CEAP.
We also organized a webinar with the Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP) on Credit education awareness, proper handling and building good credit history through financial instruments.
I would also like to thank the member schools that participated in our Voters Education Campaign. We held the “Ambang sa Bayan Ko” forum with Hon. Rowena V. Guanzon, Commissioner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Atty. Mildred Ople of Asia Foundation and COCOPEA MD Atty. Joseph Estrada. This campaign is part of our advocacy and participation in voter education as this coming elections will be vital due to the ongoing pandemic. We also reminded our youth that the voter registration will end on September 30, 2021.
Furthermore, PACU will forge a partnership with HABI and Facebook for their Digital Tayo Program. This partnership will allow PACU to access modules created for Technology and Teaching and Learning (TTL 1) and Technology and Teaching and Learning (TTL 2) and Building and Enhancing Literacies in the 21st Century (BEl) to enhance literacy skills for 21st century learning. With Habi, we can collaborate with other schools and share our best practices, stories and curiosities on well-designed learning experiences.
Institutional Quality and Improvement Committee
As a prelude to Annual PACU General Assembly, we have also launched the PACU Leadership and Management Perspective (LAMP) Summit. Two LAMP Summits are scheduled in September and November this year. This summit is a series of fora where school leaders can share challenges to quality management that they have confronted, resolved or remain unresolved. The objective is to gather the presidents to talk about the non-academic aspects of our institution like building connections, sharing challenges, finding areas of collaboration and reframing problems. Our first LAMP forum with the theme “Quality Management for Non-Academic Aspects of School Operations During the Pandemic” was held last Sept 9. Again, thank you to our speakers Dr. Caroline Enriquez, Dr. Michael Alba, Dr. Raymund Reyes,Ms. Paz Malubay, and Mr. Jason Villa. I hope that we have more participants in our second forum on November 11, 2021 entitled: “Managing Quality Teaching and Learning During the Pandemic.” We thank our sponsors: PEAC and Globe Go Learn (Major sponsors) and C&E Logic (Minor sponsor) and we are especially grateful to Habi Education Lab for being our workshop facilitators and co-organizers.
We have also partnered with Franklin Covey Institute to deliver a workshop entitled “The Business of Education: Preparing Students for a Changing World” this coming November. This workshop will be attended by no less than Mr. Sean Covey, President of Franklin Covey Education and son of Stephen R. Covey, author of the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” We will launch the LeaderU program of the Institute wherein School Administrators, Faculty and Students can join.
Public Relations Committee
PACU has three main communication channels: the PACU website, PACU FB page and PACU newsletter.
The PACU FB page has 3,800 likes and 5,500+ followers and will be updated regularly with announcements and activities of the association for the information of our members and the general public. The FB Page includes regular announcements, greetings, congratulatory messages, Senate and House committee hearings, webinars such as PBEd fora on the learning crisis and private education, relevant news articles among others.
The main thrust for the past few months was the CREATE campaign. The group also launched an FB page called Save Private Education which has now gained 5,000+ likes and 5,200+ followers since June 5, 2021. Several articles were published in major broadsheets and online platforms.
The committee issued two newsletters: October-February 2021 Vol. XI-I issue with 76 pages and February-September 2021 Vol. XI-II issue with more than 100 pages.
I would like to thank the Research Committee for exploring the research on resiliency of learning modes under the pandemic where we intend to adopt the survey on “schooling under the new environment” done in FEU to other schools. The committee is also looking into the possibility of converting the tests conducted by Dr. Marcos Lopez and CEU on Critical Thinking to an online form.
In addition, our research entitled, “A Framework for Guiding the Complementary Roles of Private and Public Educational Institutions in the Philippines” is now on its 3rd phase. The first phase of the study provided an overview of the Philippine education system as a whole and lays out the logic of a mixed education system and key ideas for balancing and optimizing the mixture of public and private education contributions. In the second phase, the study intends to focus on basic education in investigating policy and strategic options for strengthening public-private complementarity.
Before I end, this pandemic has significantly affected our sources of income and forced us to “tighten our belts.” But with your contributions and regular payment of membership, PR and Director’s fees and paid corporate sponsorships, PACU has maintained its financial stability.
Hence, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to those who have donated to PACU funds that supported our webinars, workshops and other activities.
As we said at the beginning of this report, we have reasons for hope and optimism. We believe our lawmakers will do the right thing and present a viable and acceptable amended CREATE Act for Malacanang’s signature.
We shall continue with our webinars to keep our members apprised of key developments on issues like the use of technology in learning, which is vital during the pandemic.
Also, studies have shown individuals and groups grow closer after going through a crisis. We believe we can only grow closer through the shared experiences that we have gone through so far. After all, there is indeed strength in numbers.
Finally, as we near the Christmas season, we can look forward to a time for celebrations. We can have reason to hope that the Good Lord will hear our prayers, watch over us and keep us safe.
Dr. Anthony Jose M. Tamayo
More than a decade ago, when I joined the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) as one of the members of the board, I welcomed the opportunity to serve and to help advance the interests as well as the welfare of my fellow members. The role of a PACU officer is challenging, but being part of a prestigious organization such as PACU is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of service and dedication. I find fulfillment in helping realize its vision of nation-building through transformative private education.
Being elected as the 49th President of PACU, particularly during these unprecedented times, is an immense challenge. While we were reciting our Oath of Office during the induction as PACU officers last December 18, 2020, I felt the task of serving my fellow members weighing heavier than before. We live in extraordinary times. The realities of a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, have severely affected our lives and our livelihood. Under this age of flux, we have had to change the way we do things, how we work and how we live.
However, despite the situation, PACU has not lost sight of its goals. I would like to profoundly thank President Caroline Enriquez and the previous board for having successfully steered PACU since the early and crucial part of the pandemic until we, the 2020-2022 board, assumed our new positions in October last year. We recognize and acknowledge the same group for their continuous service and sacrifice for the betterment of private education. The otherwise unprecedented heavy workload has considerably lightened because of the reassuring cooperation and teamwork among the present PACU board and officers, as well as the general membership. I also take solace in the fact that I will be working with the board and Exe-com who are considered the best minds in the field of education. I have witnessed how they led PACU in re-inventing education, changing our business models, and courageously pushing for PACU advocacies. These initiatives have made the schools more agile, innovative, and responsive in the delivery of quality education to its member students during these disruptive times.
Meanwhile, after another smooth transition, we hit the ground running with several vital activities and we are now approaching the fourth month. Some of these important activities include our dialogues with the government agencies as well as the organizational meeting, several committee meetings, two regular board meetings, one expanded board meeting, and four “Kamustahan” sessions where matters pertaining to the current concerns, updates, and plans of PACU were discussed. Other important activities will be discussed in the latter part of this report. We likewise organized the first hybrid induction of the board of trustees and installation of the new officers, which was attended by key public officials from the Senate, Congress, and CHED, as well as the presidents of the member associations under the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) and the Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC).
Dialogues as Pathways to Change
On November 27, 2020, we held a virtual courtesy call and dialogue with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson, J Prospero de Vera III, where we inquired into the possibility of gradual, optional, and limited resumption of face-to-face classes, consolidation of the recommended substitutes for OJT/Practicum and RLE, as well as the synchronization of requirements for graduation set by the CHED Technical Working Group (TWG) as well as the board examination given by the Professional Regulatory Board (PRB). Chairperson De Vera also emphasized the gradual opening of programs for the optional limited face-to-face classes subject to safety requirements. Lastly, he added that the TWGs should include more industry experts and practitioners.
In January this year, Malacañang, through Executive Secretary Medialdea finally approved the CHED DOH Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) for the following programs: Medicine, Nursing, Medical Technology, Physical Therapy, Public Health, and Midwifery. We are also awaiting CHED approval for the release of the JMC supplemental annexes for the other allied health programs that include Pharmacy, Dentistry, Radiologic Technology, Occupational Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, Nutrition and Dietetics, Master of Science in Nursing, and Master of Science in Asian Health Practices.
Moreover, in a meeting with Chairman De Vera, the PACU Officials advanced the following issues and concerns: (1) improving internet connectivity and reliability as well as negotiating special rates or subsidies for students and faculty in private HEIs; (2) extending the autonomous/ deregulated status and COE/CODs of schools; (3) revisiting policies especially for flexible learning which includes adjusting school operations to accommodate EETEAP distance learning and open distance learning; (4) CHED monitoring of the maximum enrollment caps/quotas and seating capacity in SUCs; (5) increasing the TES for private HEIs; (6) addressing accreditation concerns; (7) providing both teaching and non-teaching personnel with access to teacher training and upskilling as part of their continuing education.
Meanwhile, on scholarship matters, an increased need for student and faculty grants is expected, as a result of the economic crisis brought by the pandemic. These scholarships would certainly benefit families seeking to ensure the continued education of their children and also private schools that have experienced a decline in enrollment. In coordination with the CHED, PACU recommended the allocation of funds to the Bayanihan 2 for Higher Education Tulong Program (B2HELP). This grant provides each HEI a Php 5,000 subsidy for 30 students who are not TES recipients; priority is given to 3rd and 4th- year students with high outstanding balances. Furthermore, more than 30,000 students will receive a Php 30,000 one-time grant, to be sourced from the Php 1 billion scholarship fund of DOLE and UniFAST’s Tabang Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) program. This program seeks to assist college students who are dependents of repatriated, displaced, and deceased OFWs. We have also disseminated information regarding the GSIS Educational Loan or the “Study Now, Pay Later Program” available to all GSIS members for their nominated student beneficiaries. The loanable amount is a maximum of Php 100,000.00 per school year or up to Php 500,000 in five years. Applications are likewise open for the Scholarship of Instructors Knowledge Advancement Program (SIKAP) Grant that HEI faculty enrolling in advanced studies in local universities and colleges may avail. Full information on the eligibility requirements and the application process are contained in the CHED Memorandum Order 6, s. 2020 and its implementing guidelines.
We have also met with Atty. Lily Freida Milla, Head of CHED International Affairs, together with presidents of medical schools represented by Dr. Jose Campos, Dr. Carol Enriquez, and Dr. Luz Hammershaimb. One recommendation made during the meeting was to prioritize foreign medical students in the vaccination program so they can help in LGU immunization activities. As for the clerkship program, medical schools will obtain approval for online delivery, reduced clinical rotation hours, and online case simulation. Further, we have also asked CHED to lobby with the Indian Medical Council to extend by a year or two; the latter’s recognition of virtual rotation as practices last school year when the pandemic started.
In addition, we have requested CHED to extend, until May 28, 2021, its deadline of submission of required documents on proposed increases in tuition and other fees. This extension allows us ample time to prepare the documents to be submitted to our respective CHED regional offices.
PACU has also requested the Department of Education (DepEd) for the earlier disbursement of the SHS Voucher payouts to private schools, ahead of the semester to be billed. In doing so, private schools can receive the funds meant to help defray school operation expenses, which are normally covered by tuition fees. Another request made was for DepEd to extend the deadlines for the submission of application for a tuition Fee increase for SY 2021-2022. This request was acted upon and recommended by Planning Director Roger Masapol to the DepEd Executive Committee. Specifically, the recommendation was to extend (1) the consultation period to June 30, 2021; and (2) the submission of documentary requirements and/or application period to August 15, 2021. In another dialogue, this time with the DepEd, we underscored that this school year will be the last year that their department would be issuing vouchers to Grades 11 and 12 and permits to LUCs and SUCs, as part of the program for transitioning to K to 12. In another virtual meeting with the DepEd and COCOPEA officials, PACU encouraged DepEd to study how the excess capacity in private schools can be used to complement the public school system through vouchers and other assistance measures. Here, we underscored the need for increased complementarity between public and private schools.
Moreover, when the COCOPEA board met in December 2020 for a midterm review of its strategic plan, Dr. Vincent Fabella and the PACU representatives emphasized that COCOPEA should focus only on two areas: 1.) Intermediate Result (IR) 2 -“policy environment for private education is improved” especially on policies promoting and protecting a level the playing field between public and private education as well as the harmonization of the education agencies 2.) IR 3 -“increasing funding and support for private education institutions” through approved laws and proposed bills.
We have joined COCOPEA’s collective voice in improving teacher quality in the Philippines through our participation in Senate Bill No.1887 sponsored by Senator Win Gatchalian, Chairman of the Basic Education Committee. The bill seeks to enhance the quality of basic education in the Philippines by improving the quality of teachers and school leaders and strengthening the teacher education council. We have also participated in discussions in the lower house on their counterpart bill, filed by Basic Education Committee Chairman, Representative Roman Romulo. We have also attended, together with COCOPEA, other congressional hearings headed by Representative Romulo, to seek support for the expansion of the E-GATSPE Law to the elementary level. The voucher system will be extended to private elementary school students, particularly those in Grade 4 to 6. The bill also aims to extend the Teacher Salary Subsidy (TSS) to SHS and increase the actual TSS amount.
Furthermore, a productive dialogue ensued between the COCOPEA and the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC), regarding the issue of board exam requirements versus the CHED technical working group’s requirements for graduation. There was an effort to reconcile and clarify the requirements of the two groups. Meanwhile, we have also joined COCOPEA in writing a joint letter to the UniFAST board to reinstate PEAC as fund manager of the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES). Furthermore, CHED UniFAst sought legal opinion from DOJ for the renewal of PEAC’s service contract and whether CHED can come into an agreement to cover 2021-2022.
The Membership Committee: Keeping the PACU Community Together
One of the objectives of the “Kamustahan” is to bring our community closer. The Membership Committee, headed by Engr. Bernard Villamor plans to streamline and improve communication among members as well as update the profiles of members. The committee also seeks the assistance of area Vice Presidents in eliciting increased engagement from the general membership or active participation in PACU activities and committees. In this view, we are calling on more members to join the various committees in PACU. Furthermore, the committee also intends to visit provisional accepted members once the situation returns to normal.
Policy Committee: Advocating a Better Normal for Schools through Responsive Government Policy Interventions
The PACU policy committee is led by Dr. Vincent Fabella, together with Dr. Carol Enriquez, Dr. Chito Calingo, Dr. Rey Vea, Mr. Fred Ayala, Dr. Faye Lauraya, Dr. Tina Padolina, Dr. Ester Garcia, Dr. Pat Lagunda, Dr. Karen De Leon, and Atty. Ada Abad as well as COCOPEA Managing Director Atty. Joseph Estrada paved the way for the approval of the CHED and DOH Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) regarding the guidelines on the gradual reopening of HEIs for limited optional face-to-face instruction particularly in the conduct of clinical clerkship, RLE, and practicum for the following allied health programs: Medicine, Nursing, Medical Technology, Physical Therapy, Midwifery, and Public Health. Thank you very much to Dr. Carol Enriquez and the rest of the committee for spearheading and for finally making this plan a reality. We recognize the contributions of the different PACU members in drafting the recommendations on conducting RLE and OJT in the different programs, which we submitted to CHED and thereafter became part of the JMC annexes. Furthermore, we hope that succeeding policy recommendations by the TWG would include the non-allied health programs. Again thank you to the TWG on the flexible learning committee composed of Dr. Cristina Padolina, Mr. Augusto Fabella, Dr. Caroline Enriquez, and Dr. Edizon Fermin for representing PACU and furthering the interest in private education.
Just recently, Dr. Fabella and I participated as key informants in the USAID Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) focus group discussion conducted by senior consultant Prof. Jose Tabbada. The dialogues were about the assessment of its current organizational structure and functions of CHED and structural changes or amendments that can be made for RA 7722.
Programs Committee: Building a Knowledge Sharing Community for Teaching, Learning, and Leading
I would like to congratulate the Programs Committee headed by Ms. Laurice Juarez, chairperson, for the successful hosting of our very first hybrid oath-taking ceremonies and the recent PACU webinar organized in cooperation with the research committee. Through our webinars, PACU can reach out to our member institutions and provide relevant content from expert speakers. At least six webinars are lined up this fiscal year. Our webinars are streamed live on the PACU official Facebook page. Another project of the committee is the PACU Community of Practice, an online learning community designed to support college faculty. It is a platform that allows colleges and universities of the PACU network to exchange ideas and resources. Finally, the committee has established a partnership with the HABI Education Lab, for the learning commons project. It is also exploring other tie-ups with Smart PLDT, Microsoft, and other potential partners.
Research Committee: Learning from the Experts and Exploring Education Paradoxes
On February 9, 2021, the PACU’s Research Committee, led by Fr. Manny Manimtim and the Programs Committee organized a webinar series on “Evidence-based Optimized Learning Before, During and After the Pandemic: The Central Visayan Institute Foundation Dynamic Learning Program (VIF-DLP)” with Drs. Christopher and Marivic Bernido as resource speakers. We hope that our members find the insights shared by the resource persons instructive and informative as they navigate the new normal. The Research Committee, likewise, plans to develop papers and to lobby the DepEd and CHED in drafting policies on Flexible Learning Options (FLO). Possible research topics include Empirical Evidence for FL as a way for the Future; Efficacy of FLOs: evaluation tools for the implementation of FLOs; and Survey on how Institutions implement FL: issues related to the implementation of FLOs – access, equity, relevance. The committee will administer an initial survey to gauge the interest and willingness of members to participate in these studies. Also, the committee has set its sites on conducting a virtual Critical Thinking Congress, which was originally scheduled for March 2020 but postponed due to the COVID lockdown. Finally, the committee will explore the feasibility of the Critical Thinking Test developed by Centro Escolar University, which transforms a pen-and-paper test into an online test.
Legal and Legislative Committee: Linking up with Executives and Legislators
COCOPEA and PACU were invited to attend several hearings in the Senate and Congress. PACU blocked the shortening of the probationary period of teachers and instead pushed for the amendment of the GASTPE law. We also supported Senate Bill No. 1887 -Teacher Education Council Act; and Senate Resolution No. 10, Creation of Congressional Committee on Education.
Atty. Ada Abad, Chairperson of the Legal and Legislative Committee, also shed light on the following: the CHED-DOH guidelines on the reopening of HEIs for optional limited face-to-face classes during the pandemic; Joint Memorandum and guidelines on the provision of cash assistance to displaced personnel; and the intricacies of the CREATE bill.
PACU has also signed a joint statement with COCOPEA on taking a stand against the baseless red-tagging of certain schools. In the said statement, we appealed for circumspection and care in making allegations to shield our educational institutions and our students against any political publicity.
Public Relations (PR) Committee: Inoculating Hope in the New Normal in Education
The PR Committee, headed by Mr. Marco Benitez, will update the PACU website every month and the PACU FB page every week using feature articles. With the new normal, the committee had also decided to create an electronic version of our newsletter that commenced with a compendium in our September publication. In addition, PACU has prepared sponsorship packages for the newsletter. The call for articles is now open for our next issue, which will be released in September 2021.
Industry Academe Linkage Committee: Building Virtual Bridges of Collaboration
The Industry Linkage Committee, headed by Dr. Raymundo Reyes, plans to send out surveys to members about industry issues and concerns. The committee will likewise recommend that the program advisers involve professional organizations in their regular meetings and develop a database of industry partners. Another idea of the committee is to hold industry-academe webinars to help our industry partners find potential prospects among our graduates.
Committee on Institutional Quality Improvement: Leveraging Institutional Strengths and Assuring Quality Education of the Future
The Committee on Institutional Quality and Improvement Chairperson Dr. Patricia Lagunda and her members believe that blended learning is here to stay and that we need to equip ourselves by establishing an internal QA system within our schools. Dr. Vicente Pijano III suggested the idea of building an internal quality assurance system for blended learning and modeling the external QA system outside what is traditional. Dr. Pijano referenced the EU Share program, which conducts capability building on establishing Internal Quality Assurance Systems in schools. PACU intends to pilot this program to member schools.
Being One with Our Communities in Natural Disasters and the COVID-19 Pandemic
PACU, through its member schools, has also extended assistance to schools affected by calamities such as typhoons particularly in the Bicol Region and Cagayan Valley, through close coordination with the Bicol Foundation for Higher Education, Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation Legazpi City, University of Cagayan Valley and Tuguegarao Collective. PACU has also asked the CHED and the DEPED to include private school teachers as priority recipients of the vaccination program. PACU is also preparing an information campaign to emphasize the importance and clarify misconceptions on COVID-19 vaccination. We have also begun exploratory talks with possible vaccine distributors such as United Laboratories (UNILAB).
Before I end, I would like to thank my colleagues in PACU: the board of trustees, committee members, and the presidents of our member schools. I would like to express my gratitude to the execom: Engr. Bernard Villamor, Mr. Marco Benitez, Dr. Ryan Tirol III for organizing our board meetings, Ms. Laurice Juarez for also properly managing our finances and Atty. Ada Abad for likewise serving as our legal counsel. I would also like to acknowledge Executive Director Joyce Samaniego, Ria Lascano, and AiroI Alfiler for their invaluable loyalty, dedication, and service. I am hoping that everyone will continue our different undertakings so our plans will be carried out to full fruition. Let us always stay together and remain hopeful for an even better post-pandemic educational environment.
Finally, let us have faith in the Lord, especially when we face the overwhelming challenges of this pandemic, as Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Sir Anthony for COCOPEA Formal Turnover 2021
To our distinguished guests – Senator Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, Representative Mark O. Go, Representative Roman Romulo , Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III, Secretary Leonor Mirasol Magtolis-Briones, Secretary Isidro Lapena, Director Rhodora Angela Fernandez-Ferrer; to my fellow COCOPEA Board of Trustees and Officers; to my family and friends watching us live online, a blessed evening to all of you.
Let me start by thanking all of you for your virtual presence and enduring support for COCOPEA. With great joy and hope, I accept the challenge of LEADING this organization. With your trust and support, we will ACHIEVE more and I am very optimistic that we can continue MOVING to a shared and PREFERRED future. Yes, that is the theme of our event tonight, the acronym is L-A-M-P or Lamp. A lamp provides light that illuminates the darkness. It was Martin Luther King Jr. who said darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Presently, it had gotten so dark because of this pandemic and the other challenges in the country. And without a light to guide our way, we won’t be able to see the way forward.
In the last 60 years, COCOPEA has been striving to serve as a lamp of the education sector and the unifying voice of private education in the Philippines as a vital element in human development. COCOPEA takes the lead in education public policy development on behalf of the five educational associations under its umbrella. COCOPEA has been a vanguard in promoting, advancing, and safeguarding the interest of the private education sector in the country. And in recent years, COCOPEA has evolved into the voice of quality education from the perspective of the private sector, complementing the government sector under one system of Philippine education. COCOPEA’s role will continue under my term.
To be part of COCOPEA has been an enriching journey for me. I am even more elated for the trust and confidence extended to me by the COCOPEA Board and Trustees and officers. Thank you all for giving me this opportunity to serve COCOPEA as your chair, especially now that the private education sector is facing a myriad of challenges during this unprecedented time.
Allow me to profoundly thank our past Chair, Dr. Lourdes Almeda Sese. Thank you for your efforts and hard work Dr. Lulu for paving the way for a stronger COCOPEA organization. Your 3-year roadmap project will serve as our guide for this smooth transition. We will continue working together for an improved policy environment for private education and equity in government funding and support. Rest assured, the COCOPEA Board of Trustees 2021-2022 shall continue and initiate new thrusts and programs that respond to current challenges and issues brought about by the present crisis.
It is in this light, with the support of the COCOPEA Board, we will pursue landmark education policies and initiatives, to:
- Address the current learning crisis;
- ensure that the law clarifying the preferential tax rate for proprietary educational institutions is passed before the end of this 18th Congress;
- promote voter education in the education sector and its stakeholders;
- ensure that private education is able to participate in policy preparations for reopening of schools to limited physical classes;
- advocate for support to teachers, school personnel, students and educational institutions in the economic stimulus package or Bayanihan 3; and expansion of the GASTPE and SHS Voucher Programs;
- and ensure that complementarity in education is preserved in the proposed education reforms such as the Bill reconvening the Congressional Education Commission of the “Edcom 2”; The Bill Strengthening theTeacher Education Council, and other education laws that are set to be passed before the 18th Congress ends.
Most of these plans are within reach and with your fervent prayers and support, I am confident that COCOPEA will continue to be an eminent and vital organization that serves to further the noble interests and welfare of private educational institutions. It was Mother Teresa who said that to keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it. That is my request to all of you tonight, let us all help each other to keep our lamp burning.
Before I end, I would like to acknowledge my PACU family for your encouragement and assistance. I would not be here without my mentors from PACU – who I consider to be some of the best minds in the educational sector.
On behalf of the COCOPEA Board of Trustees and Officers, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to our distinguished guests for tonight Senator Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, Representative Mark O. Go, Representative Roman Romulo , Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III, Secretary Leonor Mirasol Magtolis-Briones, Secretary Isidro Lapena, and Director Rhodora Angela Fernandez-Ferrer. Again I would like to thank PAPSCU President Dr. Lourdes Almeda-Sese, CEAP President Sr. Marissa Viri, RVM, ACSCU President Judge Benjamin Turgano (Ret.) and TVSA President Fr. Jun Inocencio, SDB.
Also, my special thanks to the persons who made this event possible despite all the restrictions because of the pandemic, COCOPEA MD Atty. Joseph Estrada, PACU Executive Director, Ms. Joyce Samaniego, Ria Lascano and AiroI Alfiler for your invaluable dedication and service.
Of course I will not end without expressing my monumental gratitude to my family; my father Dr. BGen. Antonio Laperal Tamayo, my mother Dr. Daisy Tamayo; my siblings Lt. Col. Richard and his wife Hemilyn, Anton, Tonette, Nena, Tony Boy, Ella and Deston; my nephews Roi and Ocio. Thank you so much/ for your love, support and understanding
Let me share with you a reading from Matthew 5:15-16 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket. Instead, everyone who lights a lamp puts it on a lamp stand. Then its light shines on everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine in front of people. Then they will see the good that you do and praise your Father in heaven.
With the help of God and through the intercession of Mary, our Mother of Perpetual Help, let us continue to serve as a lamp for the Philippine Private education sector as we face the challenges ahead.
COCOPEA has been in the middle of many of the most significant education reforms and challenges in the past decades. But none of them are bigger than the challenges we face today. With the current learning crisis; the economic crisis hitting our schools, students, and teachers the hardest; the learning losses compounded by continued physical school closure; and the digital divide, -we will not falter. With the help of our emerging education leaders and experts, and our “elders” statesmen and women in education here in COCOPEA, I have no doubt that we will persevere, we will be resilient, and we will be victorious. To all of you, like the lamp that we are, “it’s time to shine”.
Thank you and stay safe always.