UP student commits suicide over unpaid tuition

UP student commits suicide over unpaid tuition is making headlines online. The freshman, who was taking Behavioral Science at the University of the Philippines Manila, took her own life for being unable to pay tuition fees.

Rappler.com reports that Kristel Tejada (Note: Her true name was hidden as “Lorena” in the Rappler article), a resident of Tondo, Manila, was found dead early Friday morning. She killed herself in less than 48 hours after filing a leave of absence or LOA, which is required by UP from students who fail to pay tuition on time.

Kristel Tejada
Kristel Tejada, UP Manila student who committed suicide
The policy, reports said, is being implemented strictly under a memorandum issued in August 2012 by Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Marie Josephine De Luna to the university’s registrar, Buenalyn Ramos-Mortel, and college secretaries through the deans.

Tejada received an advise to file a LOA on Wednesday, March 13, the report said.

The 16-year-old suicide victim did everything to pay her financial dues —she reportedly appealed for late payment, requested to pay in installment basis, wrote promissory notes, and even applied for a student loan— but was allegedly denied by UP administration.

Prior to her death, Tejada frequented the Office of Student Services to seek for counseling, reports the Philippine Collegian quoting professor Andrea Martinez of the Department of Behavioral Sciences.

Tejada comes from a poor family. Her father is a taxi driver while her mother is a plain housewife. She has four younger siblings.

Paying P300 per unit, it was assumed that if Tejada had a full load of 21 units, she would have to shell out P6,300 per semester.