The Silliman University administration increased air-condition fee this semester to as much as 100 percent without prior notice to students.
Silliman University Student Government Speaker of the House Josh Nathaneil Elleso, raised his question to the administration regarding the aircon fee, last July 13. He asked why the same exact room he was enrolled to in his previous year charged P46 for aircon before and now it went up to P140.
Atty. Fe Marie, Silliman University (SU) vice-president for finance and administration, explained that the current aircon fee is actually the correct amount to be charged.
“For three or four years, we have been charging the students the wrong aircon fee,” she said.
According to Tagle, the aircon fee that has been charged to the students is based on a summer rate, not based on a regular semester.
The reason for this mistake, according to Tagle, is the administration’s computer system.
She said that the administration failed to notice that they have been “undercharging” the students in the last three years.
The aircon fee is determined by the number of students enrolled in the class and the number of hours the room will be used. Hence, subjects taken during summer have lower aircon fee compared to the subjects taken in a regular semester.
Complaints regarding the increase have been circulating in social media. Some students who are having their internship outside Dumaguete are also charged with aircon fee though they are not using the classrooms.
Jewel Darlene Flores, a senior Medical Technology student who is having her internship in Manila, said, “It was quite disappointing to pay for a whole semester while we [interns] are only present for a maximum of one month in the campus.”
Atty. Tagle said although the cost of the electricity has been lessened due to the use of solar power, the excess money goes to the payment for solar panels.
Moreover, she said savings from solar panel are not directly deducted from the aircon fee but, but to the overall electricity consumption of the university.