STATEMENT OF SENATOR RISA HONTIVEROS
Contrary to the statement released by CHED saying that the COA report has been addressed, it is clear that the CHED-UniFAST issue is far from resolved. To claim so totally dismisses and gaslights the students who have been following up for years to receive what is due to them, as they now struggle to re-enroll in school.
May mga scholar na ga-graduate na pero ni isang sentimo ay walang natatanggap hanggang ngayon. The fact remains that CHED-UniFAST released billions of pesos entrusted to them, unmonitored, without checking or seeing the process through. Hindi pwedeng maghugas ng kamay ang CHED-UniFAST at ibaling sa mga paaralan ang sisi.
In four days, my office has received more than 300 complaints via email from both students and institutions. CHED need only look at its comments section to see the gravity of the complaints. I am glad that my PSR No. 128 has been referred to the Blue Ribbon Committee because we need to hear how and why for over four years they allowed their agency to proceed in this manner, so that we can come up with constructive solutions moving forward.
Hindi ito pwedeng balewalain lang dahil maraming estudyanteng indigent ang nahihirapan dahil dito. These are undeniably serious, even unjust delays.
Some scholars even shared that they cannot even apply for or avail of other scholarships because they are listed as UniFAST scholars even if CHED has not sent them any updates since signing the contract. These UniFAST lapses, ironically, are literally standing in the way of students’ right to education.
CHED remains accountable for the whole process. As long as the students have not received what is due to them, CHED cannot say they have done their job. I look forward to the Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on this where we will hold those responsible to full account.