/ 5 June 2021

THE NATIONAL Union of Students of the Philippines denounced the imposition of a 15 percent tax rate increase on private schools, saying that it could lead to tuition hikes.

The group warned that the increase outlined in Revenue Regulation 5-2021 by the Bureau of Internal Revenue may force financially distressed schools to close down.

“The brunt of this tax increase will most likely translate to tuition increases and will be shouldered by the students and their families. School fees hikes will exacerbate the inaccessibility of education and this tax increase may even push smaller schools to stop operations, thereby affecting the personnel, staff, and small-scale businesses around the learning institution,” NUSP said.

“This will also greatly affect the salaries of teachers and personnel,” it added.

RR 5-2021 imposes a 25 percent corporate income tax on private schools, cancelling the 1 percent pandemic rate offered by the CREATE Act.

The group said that the tax increase will further increase the burden of private schools that are already struggling to survive because of the pandemic.

“The consequence of this increase on small private schools will be dire. At the onset of the pandemic, there were already 900 private basic education institutions and several higher education schools that closed or stopped operations. The Department of Education also reported last March 1, 2021 a decrease of 900,000 learners in private K-12 schools compared to the previous school year,” NUSP said.

Instead of adding more burden to schools, the group said that the government should come up with plans to assist the education sector.

“The current learning set-up is difficult enough for education stakeholders. Adding to the financial burden when government revenue can be sourced from other institutions and businesses is a gross move of negligence by the Duterte administration,” it said.