The Philippine Statistics Authority pegs the amount needed by a family of five to stay out of poverty at PhP 8,778 per month or PhP 292 a day. This means that each family member will have to survive on PhP 58.52 a day. For these families, sending a child to senior high school under the K to 12 program, would eat up 39% of their daily income.
As the opening of a new school year draws near, the Center for Women’s Resources (CWR), an advocacy center for women, has renewed its appeal for the Supreme Court to look into the social impact of the K to 12 program, which will be implemented by June this year (for high school seniors supposedly going into college but are now enrolling into senior high school).
With only a handful of public schools actually ready for the K to 12 program, the Department of Education (DepEd) estimates that there will be between 1.2 to 1.6 million incoming senior high school students, of which between 800,000 to one million will not be accommodated by the public school system. Students will, therefore, have no choice but to enrol in private schools or drop out completely.
As such, the DepEd has assured parents that a voucher subsidy amounting from PhP 8,750 to PhP 22,500 will be allotted to students who will choose to enrol in private schools. Parents, however, will have to shoulder all other school fees exceeding the voucher amount. There are currently two million 4th year high school students in public schools.
But according to CWR, more than 39% of the earnings of a low-income family will be consumed by the costs of a child entering senior high school in private schools because of the K to 12 program.
The Philippine Statistics Authority pegs the amount needed by a family of five to stay out of poverty at PhP 8,778 per month or PhP 292 a day. This means that each family member will have to survive on PhP 58.52 a day.
Meanwhile, the minimum tuition fee of a private high school could easily amount to ₱35,000-- a ₱12,500 difference from even the highest voucher subsidy amount that would then have to be shouldered by the parents.
According to CWR, in order to send a child to senior high school, a family of five would have to set aside PhP 123 a day. That is 39% of their daily income.
Below is a breakdown of the expected minimum expenses of a senior high school student:
Even without the K to 12 program, many Filipino families are already on the brink of poverty.
In a press release, CWR said no family can possibly live decently on just PhP 292 a day.
“How could a family survive on ₱292 per day and still live decently? A kilo of regular milled rice already costs at least ₱38.00, a kilo of galunggong (used to be known as poor man’s fish) is at ₱140.00, and price of vegetables shoots up from time to time. Families still need to spend for transportation, utility bills, educational and health expenses,” said Jojo Guan, CWR executive director.
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