/ 18 June 2021

OFFICIALS of the Cagayan State University expressed fears that they may not be able to accommodate incoming freshman students and might terminate part-time employees and service providers as its UNIFAST funds remain unreleased.

CSU President Dr. Urduja Tejada issued the statement after Commission on Higher Education Chairman Prospero de Vera III belied charges that he is withholding educational funds as a leverage to the appointment of Tejada as the school president.

“Incoming freshman students may not be accommodated by the university. This is the fear of the Executive and Management Committees of the university as CHED and UNIFAST Chairman Prospero De Vera continues to withhold the UNIFAST funds that pay for the tuition and miscellaneous fees of students under RA 10931, the law that guarantees free tuition and miscellaneous fees in state universities and colleges,” Tejada said.

Citing reports submitted by the Campus Executive Officer, Tejada said that at least 8,500 first year students may not be accommodated.

“The university will not be able to engage the services of part-time instructors who are paid from UNIFAST funds. The same fund also pays those under Contract of Service and Job Orders who render necessary services that regular employees cannot,” Tejada said.

“A total of P157,933,170 covering tuition and miscellaneous fees for 1st and 2nd Semester of School Year 2020-2021 has not been transmitted by UNIFAST despite repeated demands,” she added.

Tejada said that De Vera’s alleged actions against the university “are now felt by the students and the service providers.”

“More significantly, community extension projects that benefit the communities around the university have had to be put on hold for lack of funds. The Campus Executive Officers have protested against this high-handedness of Mr. De Vera by asking Congress to take action in behalf of students,” she said.

The CHED chief earlier said that UniFast Executive Director wrote to the CSU BOR asking them if the funds can be moved through the CHED Regional Office so it can be used by CSU for its operations.

De Vera claimed that Tejada’s reappointment as CSU president was void.

Tejada, however, said that the university executives and the Board of Regents support her appointment to a second term.