By ANGELIQUE ANNE F. TORRES
DESPITE THE lack of breakdown of fees issued to students, Assistant Dean Narcisa Tabirara assured that the P1,200 allotted to the Manaoag Pilgrimage of this year’s graduating batch was all used during the thanksgiving and prayer worship activity held May 23.
Tabirara said there were other expenses paid, including administrative fees and charges for the hall.
“Ginamit lahat noong budget for that particular activity,” she told the Flame. “[I]f the students are thinking, trying to compute siguro, hindi naman talaga siya P1,200 lang. Hindi P1,200 lang ginamit sa buong Manaoag, hindi naman talaga total 100 [percent] ‘yun kasi mayroong administrative expense ‘yon. So even if we have approved, even if there had been no objection to the juggling of one expense to another, it would have not been a total of P1,200.”
Tabirara, however, said the Faculty could not provide the breakdown of fees. “I think it is really unfair to ask that. We cannot do that—to make a breakdown. Kasi naman ‘yung doon sa Manaoag, ganun din, they do not make any breakdown.”
Last academic year, then third year students paid P1,200 in their tuition for recollection fee allotted for the Manaoag Pilgrimage. But the activity was cancelled after the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) banned all off-campus activities, following the Tanay bus accident in February 2017 which killed 15 college students after the bus lost its brakes and crashed into an electric post.
The ban was lifted in August 2017.
Tabirara said the AB Dean’s office hoped they could push through with the activity but there were too many requirements to be processed.
“We found it a little too complicated so hindi na natuloy ‘yan. We were not able to manage anymore with the pilgrimage. It came to a point now na ito, malapit na ang graduation. We were already overtaken by time,” she said.
Tabirara said students approached her asking to reallocate the recollection fee to the Solemn Investiture fee. The students then wrote a letter addressed to the Dean Michael Anthony Vasco and Arts and Letters Student Council (ABSC) President-elect Rafael Arellano if the proposal was possible.
Tabirara said Vasco declined the request “because you cannot juggle funds from what it is originally intended for.”
“Well the Dean said, since it was he who handles the budget and the intricacies of the budget, rejected it. […] Since it was intended for a religious activity, then it should be used for a religious activity. That’s the reason why we have to hold this thanksgiving prayer and the prayer worship activity,” she said.
Board of Majors (BOM) Deputy Speaker Patricia Lee Yanga said the ABSC and BOM addressed the issue to the Dean personally.
“The Board of Majors, together with the ABSC, started a poll as to use the Manaoag [recollection fee] for the Solemn Investiture. The graduating students all agreed to it however it was rejected by the Dean,” Yanga said in an online exchange.
“The BOM talked to [Faculty Secretary Asst. Pof. Zenia Rodriguez] as to what to do next and she advised us to go talk to the Dean directly,” she added. “When we did, the Dean stood firm by his decision saying that we cannot use [these] funds for the Solemn Investiture.” F