3 Cebu universities, colleges not eligible for free tuition

THREE local universities and colleges (LUCs) in the province of Cebu are no longer eligible for reimbursement for offering to cover the tuition and miscellaneous fees to the public.

The Commission on Higher Education (Ched) removed the Mandaue City College, Madridejos Community College, and Sibonga Community College from the list after they failed to meet the requirements.

“These are schools that are not compliant. We are delisting them from the list of schools certified by Ched,” revealed Ched chairperson Dr. J Prospero de Vera III during a visit to Cebu City on May 5, 2023.

De Vera said there are two types of evaluation and accreditation that LUCs must comply with under Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, a law that provides free tuition and other school fees in LUCs, state universities, and colleges (SUCs), and state-run technical-vocational institutions.

One of the requirements is program compliance, which means that the degree program offered should have qualified instructors to teach the courses.

The second requirement is to attain institutionalized recognition (IR), which will look into whether LUCs have the necessary facilities and medical personnel such as school nurses and guidance counselors.

De Vera also said that under IR, schools should make sure that “the school president must be a qualified president that must have a Doctorate Degree and must be elected through a search process.”

Three years

De Vera said that since RA 10931 was passed, the LUCs were given a total of three years to comply.

“Two years have passed, and the majority of the local universities and colleges complied with the requirement. But some had difficulty complying,” he said.

The schools were granted an initial six months extension, but at least five LUCs in Cebu still could not comply. Another six-month extension was given to these LUCs, and two of the five were finally able to comply with the requirements.

The Cordova Public College and Talisay City College were able to comply with the requirements but due to their failure to meet the requirements in the first semester of the current academic year, they can only receive a reimbursement for the second semester.

“I think that is more than reasonable time to comply but there were still those who cannot comply,” de Vera said.

The three delisted institutions can no longer receive reimbursement for tuition from Ched for the academic year 2022-2023.

De Vera stated that while delisted LUCs can operate, they could not charge their students tuition or other fees since LUCs and SUCs are not allowed to collect fees while RA 10931 is still in force.

The cost of paying students’ tuition and other fees will now be shouldered by the local government units (LGUs).


Dr. Lilybeth Mayol, the administrator of Mandaue City College, said they are given until June 30, 2023, by the Ched to reapply so they can receive reimbursement for the next academic year.

Mayol, however, said they are still completing the requirements to reapply. Currently, they are filling additional plantilla positions for instructors.

She said that aside from hiring instructors they are also upgrading the facilities of the school with the help of the city government.

“That are things that we are trying our best to have so that we can comply,” Mayol said in an interview on Wednesday, May 10.

The school has 2,200 students, whose tuition is now being shouldered by the local government unit, amounting to P5,000 per student per semester.