/ 12 October 2022

MANILA Teachers Party-list Representative Virgilio Lacson filed a measure that will prohibit education institutions from withholding the official records of students due to non-payment of tuition and other school fees.

In his House Bill 5216 or the proposed Anti-Withholding of Student Records Act, Lacson wants to declare the practice as unlawful.

“Reports have surfaced saying that some students cannot transfer to other schools because of their current schools’ refusal to release official school documents due to non-payment,” Lacson said in his explanatory note.

Under the measure, any officer or employee of the educational institution who violates the provision for releasing the official records of the students shall be punished with a fine of not less than P10,000 but not more than P50,000 or imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months or both.

Any education institution found to have violated the provisions shall be administratively punished with suspension or cancellation of permit to operate by the Department of Education, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or the Commission on Higher Education and must pay an administrative fine of not less than P50,000 but not more than P100,000.

The measure also mandates the DepEd, TESDA and CHED, in coordination with relevant agencies and sectors, to promulgate the implementing rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of the law.