By Ardelle Costuna and Elizabeth Escaño
UPDATED 10:24 AM
The release of results of the second batch of applications for the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) was delayed due to an increase in the number of applicants, said Aristeo Dacanay, Officer-in-Charge of the Office of Scholarships and Student Services (OSSS).
The OSSS was able to post the bracket assignments late afternoon of June 4, already the second day of enrolment.
Prior to the release, all students with pending STFAP applications were temporarily assigned to Bracket B, which is pegged at P1,000 per unit – a far cry from the tuition rates for brackets C to E2.
For UP Diliman, those placed under bracket C and D would only pay P600 and P300 per unit, respectively, while students under brackets E1 and E2 are given full subsidy, with the latter receiving a semestral stipend of P12,000.
“Ngayon, malaki ‘yung volume ng mga natanggap naming applications kaya na-delay [ang results]. Hindi natapos on time ‘yung pag-encode sa Computer Center (This time, we received a huge volume of applications that was why the release of results got delayed. The encoding in the Computer Center was not finished on time),” Dacanay said.
Dacanay cited the lack of personnel who would handle the volume of STFAP applications.
“Hangga’t di nagbabago yung sistema ng STFAP tuition, talagang mahihirapan [ang aming staff] (As long as the STFAP tuition is not reformed, we (the staff) will really have a hard time),” he said.
UP President Alfredo Pascual proposed to revise the current STFAP process to the Board of Regents, but the body failed to reach a decision during their April 12 meeting.
Dacanay also explained that the UP Diliman Computer Center is in charge of encoding and processing applications. The STFAP office in Vinzons Hall only accepts application forms and evaluates a student’s compliance with the list of requirements.
The current STFAP application process requires a student to fill out a 13-page form and submit supplementary documents such as electricity and water bills, income tax returns of family members and a statement of assets and liabilities. Other legal papers may also be required on a case-to-case basis.
In light of the temporary bracket reassignments, the University Student Council (USC) set up a grievance desk to receive complaints from students, which was located one floor below the STFAP office.
“Generally, tungkol sa temporary bracketing ang natanggap naming complaints (Generally, the complaints we receive are about the temporary bracketing),” said USC Students’ Rights and Welfare Committee head Charlotte France.
France explained that they advised students to continue lining up for subjects while waiting for their bracket assignments.
“Inadvise muna namin na mag-prerog muna sila ng mga klase para hindi sila maubusan ng slots, tapos hintayin na lang ‘yung paglabas ng resulta ng STFAP (We advised them to prerog for classes first while slots are available. We told them to just wait for the release of the results from STFAP),” she said.
The Office of the University Registrar has extended tuition payment until June 14, which was originally due June 5. – With reports from Vince Nonato