Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Much has been said about the recent incident involving the suicide of the UP Manila Student. There is no easy answer on why a person takes his might be a combination of events leading to one single event that triggers the decision. The answer is not easy as one, two, three or a + b = c. Let us leave that to the experts.

Much has been said about the STFAP. It might be flawed and tedious to accomplish but many have benefited from this socialized tuition fee. In my time, there were 9 brackets instead of 5. If memory serves me right brackets 1-4 are entitled to free tuition, fees and allowance, bracket 5 scholars pays only for school fees, while 6 to 8 have discount on their tuition fees and only bracket 9s pay the full tuition fee.

Being a beneficiary of the STFAP, i know about the long process and numerous documents that one has to accomplish and submit in order to avail of the program. Looking back, it must have been a nightmare not only to the students and parents but also the UP system to track and validate the applications. I am sure, even with today's technology, validation and tracking of all applicants and correctly assigning brackets are just as hard.

While reform of the program is needed, we must also need to asses the state U's ability to implement. Are there enough resources (personnel, budget, technology, etc)? Are there check and balances in place? How fast can it be reformed and implemented? How will it benefit the most number of qualified individuals? Have we, as alumni, done our part to give back to the University that helped shaped us to what we are now?

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