PAY AS you enroll.

Stricter enrollment policies were implemented by the University this semester— including the non-acceptance of promissory notes, a ban on the issuance of “pre-enrollment forms” to those who want to reserve slots without payment, and barring students with unpaid balances from enrolling.

In a memorandum last Oct. 7, the Office of the Vice Rector for Finance announced that promissory notes are no longer allowed starting the second semester. The notice was released in time for the release of first semester grades.

The new policy was evident during the enrollment period from Oct. 19 to Nov. 5, when posters saying “NO PROMISSORY NOTES” were displayed.

Promissory notes are used when a student cannot pay the amount required for installment fees. Students using promissory notes pay fees lower than the required down payment and then settle the remaining dues before the semester ends.

Meanwhile, pre-enrollment forms, which apply to students who cannot pay tuition during their enrollment schedule but want to reserve subject slots, will no longer be issued.

Vice Rector for Finance Fr. Manuel Roux, O.P., who was said to be on “indefinite leave” in the United States, could not be reached for comment. The Varsitarian also tried to get an interview with Assistant Treasurer Leonardo Syjuco, but there was no response as of press time.

University comptroller Diomedes Yadao also declined to give a statement. The Office of the Comptroller later called the Varsitarian and said the matter should be addressed to Syjuco.

It was unsure whether the “No Promissory Note” policy would also take effect during this semester’s preliminary and final exams.

Calling a spade a spade, a lemon a lemon

Central Student Council (CSC) President Lorraine Taguiam, for her part, said she would wait for Roux’s statement on the ban on promissory notes before making comments.

But Student Organizations Coordinating Council President Rolando Vittorio Gatmaitan Jr. said “education should not be limited to those who could only pay in time.”

“I believe that it is not the fault of the student[s], so why hinder them from learning?” Gatmaitan said in a text message last Nov. 11. “There may be some unforeseen events that might have caused the family of the student’s failure to pay on time.”

A better remedy is for the University to charge a lower down payment, with the balance paid through monthly installments, he said.

In protest, a Facebook page called “No to UST No-Enrollment Policy for students with Unpaid balance” was created last Oct. 15, demanding the suspension of the new enrollment policies.

The Facebook page’s information tab claimed “hundreds of UST students will be refused enrollment this 2nd Sem ‘11-’12 because of this new policy. Let us demand the suspension of the hasty and arbitrary implementation of the no-enrollment policy.”

It called for “genuine consultation before implementation.”

More than 1,800 people have “liked” the Facebook page as of press time.

Pay six percent more

The Office of the Vice Rector for Finance also released a memorandum last Oct. 7 announcing the imposition of six percent interest on unpaid tuition upon enrollment. This was, however, deferred until the next academic year.

Taguiam said the six-percent interest will fund the “administrative charges” for unpaid accounts.

Kosmetikong "tatak Tomasino"

“The [Office of the Vice Rector for Finance] said they need the six percent [penalty] for administrative charges because of the unpaid accounts, so those people who handle that situation can be paid,” Taguiam said.

UST has an estimated P85 million worth of unpaid accounts every year, she claimed.

Taguiam said the CSC had asked the Office of the Vice Rector for Finance to postpone the six percent interest policy to next school year because the announcement “lacked proper circulation.”

“The memo was given during the final exams, then enrollment came right after,” she noted.

Students took their grievances to Facebook.

“UST should have promulgated the policy much earlier so that people would have enough time to prepare the money to meet their financial obligations,” said College of Nursing alumnus Pheelyp Aytona.

“It’s depressing to think that my last months of being an undergraduate college student would be cut short by this provision that’s, to say bluntly, quite insensitive to the students, most especially those who may not have enough to pay for the necessary fees,” said RA Amores, a senior student from the College of Rehabilitation Sciences. Diana Jean B. Evite and Reden D. Madrid


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