CCG: The board must approve the collection
In six words. University President Dr. Cornelio C. Garcia shared his insights regarding Office Order No. 189, s. 2014 which strictly bars all collection of fees without the approval of the Board of Regents (BOR) despite the need of funds of College Student Body Organizations (CSBO) to accomplish their projects.
Issued in 2013 thru Office Order No. 57, the prohibition originally suspends the collection of pre-enrolment fees.
Fees not listed in the official registration form must not be collected during the enrolment period by different colleges, Office of Student Affairs (OSA) and other offices.
These include College PTCA Fees, CSBO Fees, P.E Uniforms, OJT Uniforms, College Uniforms, Insurance Fees, Library ID Card, Scholarship ID, NSTP/ROTC Fees, Sports /Intramural Fees, Workbooks and Alumni Fees.
Under Commission on Audit (COA) rules, deans, college secretaries, OSA officers, faculty staff and student assistants are not authorized to collect any fees from students using local receipts.
In addition, students must pay all enrolment fees must be paid directly to the campus cashiers or collecting officers and all transactions should reflect in the official receipts.
Though CSBO keeps on following the order, student legislatures still raised their concerns to the administration to allow them to collect CSBO fund as a requirement for their operations and functions.
“Super hirap ng walang CSBO funds. Kahit saan mo naman tignan. Kung wala kang pondo hindi ka makakakilos ng maayos,” said Estanly Cajucom, College of Tourism, Hotel and Restaurant Management (CTHRM) president. “So maglalabas ka ng sarili mong pera para lang maayos mo ang mga projects mo, kumbaga labor mo na, pera mo pa. Nandoon din kasi iyong mere fact na ang hirap magrequest ng fund sa admin,” he added.
According to Prof. Menchie Dela Cruz, College of Communication and Information Technology (CCIT) dean, the fund is very beneficial to students and aids and supplies the necessities during university activities, celebration, seminars and even accreditation.
Meanwhile, Jourdan Guico, College of Teachers Education (CTE) vice president also explained the utilization of funds in their college.
“Para sa amin naman we utilize it for the different activities of the CSBO. Gaya dito sa college namin – for the past two years nagkaroon ng malaking improvement, iyong Audio Visual Room (AVR), isa sa pinakamaayos na AVR dito sa university. Nakakatulong talaga siya, pero ngayon nahirapan kami kung saan kami hahanap ng fund. Kung minsan sa bulsa na din kumukuha,“ said Guico.
Students from the College of Nursing (CoN) similarly demand for CSBO fund for it serves as their source for health teaching.
“For the projects, hinold nila so wala nang gagamitin? Okay lang sana na nahold yong collection basta ipo-provide ng admin ‘yung mga kailangan ng college namin. Kapag may health teaching pa naman kami, sa CSBO kami kumukuha ng pera,” CoN officer expressed.
Furthermore, seven out of eight CSBO presidents bid to pursue the collection of fees as indicated in an interview conducted by The Bastion Group of Publications.
Due to series of queries from students, Dr. Garcia conveyed that without board approval they cannot collect from the students and furthermore, under the charter of the university the board shall fix the tuition and all other fees being collected. “Anything we collect from the students from the public is considered as public fund. To be legal, any collection must be approved by the board and must be incorporated in the official receipt,” said Dr. Garcia.
He also emphasized the protection of interest of every students and parents as part of the COA rules and its goal of adhering comprehensive budget management.
“In this case, we want to protect your money – transparency and accountability. If there’s no board approval, there is no guarantee that the money collected from you [students] is used in proper procedure or for the purpose intended,” Dr. Garcia added.
Hence, officers in charge of collection of any fees without board approval should prepare and consolidate the proposals to the board secretary for appropriate consent and integration in the assessment form for safeguarding.
Legal basis and standardized collection
“As per Ma’am Marave, gagawin na daw standardized pero bigyan ng diin din na sa bawat collection kailangan ng legal basis na may board approval. Kasi any form of collection within the university needs legal basis and the legal basis is the board resolution,” said Roy N. Villabos, vice president for Administration and Finance, as he highlighted that any form of collection without said board resolution is an illegal transaction.
On the other hand, Engr. Melojean Marave, campus director for student organizations clarified that there is no board approval yet.
Marave, also said that they will present the constitution and by-laws indicating the membership fee for continuous and standardized collection for the upcoming board meeting, and assured that the fund will be back by July or August upon approval.
“Standard na siya, ngayon is Php 50 lang. According to president na may mga matataas so para majustify daw ang collection ng membership fee, magstick kami sa Php 50,” Marave expressed.
Moreover, Marave advices RMTU CSBO’s to collect fund for they cannot perform their projects without it.
| Jeruel Pacatcatin
and Ruel Demain