The head of the Philippines’ conference of bishops made clarifications to respond to the issues thrown against Catholic schools, including that of low salary for teachers and the increase in matriculation fees.
In an interview with Radio Veritas on September 1, Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David explained that the wages of teaching and non-teaching professionals in Catholic schools are lower compared to their counterparts in public schools because of government’s high budget allocation.
“Mas malaki ang budget ng public schools dahil mas mahal ang pasweldo sa kanilang mga teachers. Para maipantay ng Catholic schools ang sweldo ng kanilang mga teachers sa sweldo sa public, kailangan nilang magtaas ng tuition fees. Hindi naman aaprubahan ng DepEd (Department of Education) ang biglaang pagtaas ng tuition fees ng mga private schools,” Bishop David said.
He emphasized that the public school system gets a large sum from the government’s yearly General Appropriations, while Catholic-run institutions depend on the fees being paid by their students.
The CBCP president insisted that Catholic schools allot enough funds and seek the help of private sector organizations for scholarship programs for less fortunate but worthy students.
“Marami ring mga mahihirap ang nag-aaral sa mga Catholic schools dahil sa pagsusumikap ng mga Catholic schools na maglaan ng pondo o magkaroon ng mga foundations na pwedeng mag-provide ng scholarship grant o financial assistance sa kanilang mga poor but deserving students,” he explained.
One of the most active initiative in providing aid for students is the Caritas Manila’s Youth Servant Leadership and Education Program or YSLEP which helps close to 5,000 scholars around the country. (Lem Leal Santiago/SOCOM-Binondo Church)