For former University of the Philippines Diliman chancellor Michael Tan, the government should allot more resources for state universities and colleges (SUCs) because most classes would be shifting online during the coronavirus pandemic.
"The CHED (Commission on Higher Education) and the government must provide more resources," Tan said during a press briefing hosted by the Department of Health on Friday, May 15.
Tan added, "Huwag na huwag sila mag sacrifice ng education budget (They should never ever sacrifice the education budget) so we could build up necessary facilities for online learning, and training for teachers."
Tan said this in connection with earlier reports that SUCs might be forced to collect fees due to a directive of the Department of Budget and Management temporarily withholding the release of funds for some programs due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, CHED Chairperson Prospero De Vera III said on May 8 that the budget department agreed to its request not to stop the release of funds for free tuition.
According to Tan, classes in UP will open in September using online learning based on its academic calendar for 2020-2021.
Tan, however, said that they were observing the readiness of the students and teachers for the shift. (READ: During pandemic, student climbs a mountain to send class requirement)
"We keep checking students kung kumusta na kayo. Kung hindi kaya, our guiding principle is justice. Hindi puwede na may maiiwan," Tan said.
(We keep checking our students how are they doing. If not all are capable for online learning, our guiding principe is justice. No one should be left behind.)
In a televised briefing on Thursday, May 14, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque presented the following approved CHED resolution on the opening of classes based on mode of teaching:
Experts at UP earlier recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte that classes remain suspended until December 2020 to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The UP experts also said that the "physical" opening of classes might increase the transmission of COVID-19.