A Behavioral Science student from University of the Philippines Manila campus was reported to have committed suicide due to financial constraints.
Kristel Tejada, 16, a freshman, was found dead Friday morning. She was believed to have killed herself at around 7 a.m. March 15, the Manila Collegian, the official publication of the campus, reported via Facebook.
The suicide was allegedly triggered by financial constraints. The Manila Collegian said that Tejada was forced to file for leave of absence (LOA) last Wednesday due to said reasons.
The “No Late Payment” policy implemented by the university was blamed for her filing of LOA and the suicide commission. UP Manila Professor Carl Marc Ramota said via his Facebook that “Students are advised to file LOA if they failed to meet the deadline of tuition payment.”
The “no late payment” and “forced LOA” policies were deemed as “anti-student” and have been receiving protests from students since their implementation last year. The new rules have also been slammed for failing to ease students’ financial burden amid recent tuition hikes in the university, the Yahoo! Philippines reports.
Tejada is the eldest of five children of a taxi driver and a housewife.
Being one of the oldest public educational and research systems in the Philippines, UP Manila has been known of providing underprivileged students with a chance of bettering themselves through higher education.
An online petition to revoke the “anti-student” policies was started by Alcuin Papa following Tejada’s death. The petition call on UP Manila administration to provide better support to students under financial straits and to not bar them from classes if payments are late.