After acknowledging the lack of compensation for student assistants (SAs) at Visayas State University (VSU), the University Supreme Student Council Federation (USSCF) announced  on their official Facebook page the increase of student assistant allowance from PHP25.00/hr rate to PHP60.00/hr after the Board of Regents (BOR) approved their proposal through BOR Resolution No. 92, s. 2023, last December 29, 2023.


The proposed amount has been discussed by the USSCF who mentioned that the previous rate of P25.00/hr was not enough to compensate student assistants for their work, as mentioned in the resolution.


“The proposed increase rate for student assistant stipends from P25.00/hour to P60.00/hour will help VSU student assistants greatly especially in the difficulties associated with their financial circumstances while also promoting fairness in the compensation that is given to our student assistants for their services in the university,” the resolution stated.


How did the USSCF come up with this proposal?


In an interview with AMARANTH, former Student Regent (SR) Princess Romo said that living conditions, workload, research on SAs allowances, and the impact of the proposal are the aspects considered in coming up with this decision.


“The decision of raising the SA allowance wasn’t an ‘I think, I feel’ moment, rather, it was rooted from actual conversations with people who worked as SAs in different offices. The proposal took into consideration the living conditions of students these days and the amount of workload that our SAs usually have, as well as the benchmarking and research the team made on the allowance of SAs in other universities and the impact this will make on the lives of our fellow students,” Romo explained. 


Romo also added that the initial plan was to increase the student assistant stipend to P75.00/hr rate as agreed by the council but was revised to P60.00/hr after bearing the benchmarking results and projections made.


"When I came up with the proposal, I asked the USSCF officers to vote upon the proposed amount to actually have representation when it came to the proposal. The body was in favor of proposing to change it into Php 75. It was subject to revisions after proposing it to the VSU Finance Committee and the Board of Regents. The amount was revised into Php 60 after taking into consideration the benchmarking results and the projections we've made," she noted. 


Moreover, Romo thanked the people she has worked with in making this proposal into reality.


“This is a big win for the student community and for that I'd like to dedicate this to my late friend, the former CET SSC President, Virgilyn Balbuena. She was the very person who made me want to push this further and was also the one who first reported the struggles and lack of compensation to our hardworking SAs because she used to be one of them herself. Through her, I personally saw what needs to be changed and how these changes can positively affect the lives of our fellow students. I'd also like to thank the former USSCF board, the VSU Finance Committee, and the Board of Regents for their support,” Romo added.


USSCF’s dedication to serving the students


In a Facebook post, the current USSCF administration also emphasized that this action volumes their commitment to valuing the university's student assistants and the Viscan community and repaying the favor to them through this initiative.


“The increase of the SA allowance aims to provide adequate compensation to the efforts and perseverance of our student assistants in the VSU system. It also helps our students financially by providing them opportunities that are actually for them and within reach. The job of SAs should be honored and appreciated because they help our offices in helping the institution operate and function smoothly. Given that it takes a lot of dedication and grit to be SA, and the fact they're just a chosen few, the increase is a way of showing and honoring the efforts that they pour into making their dreams come true,” Romo said in an interview.


Response of the Viscan community


This move by the council received much appreciation from the Viscan community, especially from current and aspiring university student assistants.


“I'm glad and happy na finally nag increase na ang stipend sa mga Student Assistant, dako najud kaayu ni na tabang paras mga students na nanginahanglan ug ganahan naay pandugang sa ila allowance labi na run nga nag mahal gajud ang mga palitonon. Thank you kaayu sa mga officials behind the approval sa Increase sa Stipend,” Joshua Brezo, one of the university’s student assistants, said in an interview.


[I’m glad that finally the stipend for student assistants has increased and this will surely help us, the students in need and particularly the prices of goods have increased nowadays. Thank you to the officials behind the approval of this stipend increase.]


Further, the current USSCF administration also extended its gratitude in the same Facebook post to the former student council administration headed by the former SR Princess Romo, who took charge of this proposal.

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