The recent approval of tuition fee increase in 267 private colleges and universities will force more Filipinos to drop tertiary education and join the swelling ranks of the unemployed in the country, according to a labor NGO.
Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) said rising cost of tertiary education will contribute to the rising number of unemployed youth in the country, which currently constitutes half of the total 2.9 million unemployed as of January 2012.
“Filipino workers obviously cannot afford higher private education costs since wages do not catch up with the annual tuition hikes and regular spike in commodity prices. As a result, more college undergraduates will quit schooling to look for jobs. The problem however is that the number of available jobs isn’t really sufficient for the growing number of jobseekers,” said EILER head researcher Carlos Maningat.
“Data from the labor department shows that unemployed Filipinos who are college undergraduates rose to 323,000 in July 2011 from 309,000 in 2009, hinting that more and more college drop-outs end up in the unemployment line,” he added.
Maningat said the continuing rise in joblesness among college undergraduates proves that the much touted business process outsourcing (BPO) industry boom cannot cushion the worsening youth unemployment in the country.
“The Aquino administration should stop peddling false promises by saying that the BPO industry can provide jobs for college dropouts. It should instead address the very high dropout rate among college students by moving to provide more subsidies to state universities and imposing moratorium on tuition hikes in private colleges,” Maningat asserted.