“Just trust HAU,” admin says amidst unexplained expenditures in TOFI consult

For the second consecutive year, Holy Angel University (HAU) proposes another 3.9% increase in tuition and other fees to cover up its planned expenditures for the next school year, as presented during the consultation with student councils last Tuesday, February 27.

Among these expenses presented by the administration are allocated for salary increases of employees in the university, as well as for capital expenditures.

“During the presentation, it became evident that a significant portion of the budget was allocated to capital expenditures and improvements for various buildings,” College Student Council-School of Business and Accountancy (CSC-SBA) Chairperson Bianca Raguindin stated when asked about the rationale of the expenditures.

As presented by HAU’s Executive Director for Campus Services and Development Mr. Jeffrey Neil Nepomuceno, the university will be allotting approximately P14.5 million to replace the air conditioning units at the fourth floor of San Francisco de Javier building, where the office of Officer-in-Charge (OIC) – President Leopoldo Jaime N. Valdes, Jr. is situated.

Likewise, around P19 million pesos is planned to be spent on the replacement of aircons at the university theatre, P6 million for solar panels at the Sacred Heart (SH) building, P2.5 million for the conversion of projectors to smart televisions for caserooms, P1.3 million for the reconstruction of the admission office, P1.1 million for the renovation of the main gate entrance, and P1.25 million for the procurement of 50 projector units.

Alongside these capital expenditures, various miscellaneous expenses are also proposed to increase, notably the ID fee.

HAU-University Student Council (HAU-USC) President Shejanira Arcilla questioned the 5.75-peso increase in ID fee, mentioning that the increase will allow HAU to collect P1,357,500 just on I.D. alone.

As a response, the administration justified that the cost is attributed to the upkeep of the scanners, security guard fees, and the high price of microchips. The councils contested this under the grounds of redundancy due to an already existing “maintenance fee.”

When asked by Raguindin for a breakdown of the annual expenses for the ID, the administration offered no reply.

Amidst questions from the student councils, Ms. Edna Marriza Santos, the Assistant to the President and Vice President for Organization Development, expressed that the councils should instead “trust” the administration.

Ms. Santos further stated that she feels “hurt” when the students request explanations for the basis and credibility of the numbers.

“What we present to you are real figures, and these are well thought out. They are studied very well. They are presented to the board of trustees, and they are discussed with all members of the community, sana, i-trust ninyo kami sa aspect na iyon,” Ms. Santos said.

At the end of the consultation, the administration affirmed that they will relay the arguments to the higher-ups, but the ultimate decision is still up to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

This is the second year in a row that HAU increases the tuition and other fees, with the last being in 2023 at 8%, one of the highest TOFI that year in the country and in the university’s history.


News by Nikkson Cayanan

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