A freshman student of the University of the Philippines in Manila on Friday committed suicide after failing to pay tuition fees, a report from the school's official student publication said.
According to The Manila Collegian, 16-year-old Kristel Tejada killed herself at around 7 a.m. by drinking a chemical used in silver cleaning at their house in Abad Santos, Tondo, Manila.
Kristel, a Behavioral Sciences student of the university, was allegedly forced to file for leave of absence (LOA) last Wednesday after failing to settle financial constraints.
Professor Andrea Bautista Martinez of the Department of Behavioral Sciences said the student was the eldest of five children. Her father is a taxi driver while her mother is a housewife.
A report from Interaksyon meanwhile quoted lawyer Terry Ridon of the Kabataan party-list as saying Kristel was placed under "Bracket B" of UP's Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP), meaning she had to pay P1,000 per unit.
Kristel is said to be one of the students who applied for student loan but was denied by the school administration. Her parents also appealed to the school to extend the deadline of payment for her tuition fees, but the request was also turned down.
The victim also frequented the Office of Student Services for counselling help.
"Malaki talaga ang impact sa buhay niya ang LOA kasi pati pamilya niya naapektuhan. Since February, hindi na siya pumapasok. Lagi siyang nagtetext sa'kin na hindi niya kinakaya ang problema," claims Prof. Martinez. She added the victim was still able to text her Wednesday.
Last Monday, Kristel posted on her Facebook account with "I hope I will be missed."