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CHED: Scholars’ allowances released tomorrow

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has apologized for the delay in the release of allowances of scholars under its K-12 Transition Program.

CHED chair Patricia Licuanan said they will start releasing the living allowances of thousands of scholars tomorrow, assuring beneficiaries that they are moving to fast-track the release of funds.

“The commission acknowledges that the delays have caused pain to our scholars, many of whom rely on the living allowances for the daily subsistence of their families,” Licuanan said.

“We apologize to the scholars for our shortcomings. Longer-term structural reforms should be implemented to sustainably address the perennial problem of delays in releases. CHED appeals for extended patience and continued support in this once-in-a-generation effort,” she added.

Hundreds of scholars, many of whom are college educators, have complained in recent months about the delay in the release of their allowances.

Some noted that they are in danger of being kicked out from their dormitories as they have failed to pay rent due to the delays.

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Licuanan said the commission encountered challenges that resulted in the delays, including the huge volume of documents and the inability of their internal system to handle large-scale scholarship administration.

She also noted discrepancies in documentary requirements, additional requirements required by the Commission on Audit and the delays in the submission of documents.

To address the issue, Licuanan said they would hire additional manpower to help in processing the documents as well as to introduce quality checks to ensure that discrepancies are detected early.

“The commission will –with the highest degree of integrity – make the improvement of these systems its top priority, assuring the public that despite the challenges, it remains steadfast in finding ways to fulfill its mandate of supporting institutions, faculty and staff during the transition period,” she said.

“Recognizing the exigency of providing relief during this time of the year, the commission is implementing steps to accommodate scholars whose documents are still pending full compliance. For scholars with signed contracts and submitted enrolment forms and/or grades of the completed semester, allowances will be partially released,” she added.

CHED said 2,152 scholars will receive full living allowances by tomorrow, Dec. 29, while another 1,011 who still have deficiencies will receive a part of their allowances by Jan. 5.

Another 933 will still have to submit their requirements before they can get their allowances, according to the commission.

“A public tracker will be available on the CHED K to 12 website to guide scholars, including status of payment and pending submissions… The commission’s K to 12 Transition Program Management Unit will work on the backlogs during the Christmas holidays, and shall also be accepting the submissions through this period,” Licuanan said.

“Such an investment in higher education faculty has never been seen before, contributing to the larger aim of enhancing the Philippine higher education sector, and will redound to the production of better-equipped graduates in a more globalized and competitive economy,” she added.         

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