House OKs medical scholarship bill
“It will open the opportunity for poor but deserving students to pursue a degree in medicine and serve their communities in the countryside. This is the answer to the lack of doctors in rural areas,” Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said.
STAR/File
House OKs medical scholarship bill
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - August 11, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — With 245 votes, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading yesterday a bill offering scholarships to college students who want to pursue a degree in medicine, which may help the government cope with future pandemics.

“It will open the opportunity for poor but deserving students to pursue a degree in medicine and serve their communities in the countryside. This is the answer to the lack of doctors in rural areas,” Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez, chairman of the House committee on constitutional reforms, is one of the authors of House Bill 6756, which seeks to establish a medical scholarship and return program for deserving students.

Rodriguez said the measure would be the answer to the lack of physicians in areas hit by pandemics such as COVID-19, since scholarship recipients could be asked to serve in hotspots.

The committees on health, appropriations and higher education have endorsed Bill 6756.

Their respective chairpersons – Reps. Angelina Tan of Quezon, Eric Go Yap of ACT-CIS, Mark Go of Baguio City and Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos-Recto – are among its authors.

Under the measure, an applicant for a medical scholarship and return service program must be a Filipino citizen, a graduate or graduating student of a prerequisite course for a doctor of medicine degree, must have passed the entrance examination and complied with other requirements in the state, private college or university where they intend to enroll and must have obtained a national medical admission test score mandated by the Commission on Higher Education and the cut-off required by the state or private school where they plan to enroll.

At least one scholar must come from each town throughout the country. If no one qualifies in a particular town, another scholar could be selected from the neighboring municipality.

The proposed law would oblige a graduate to serve in their town for at least four years. Refusal would mean they would have to return twice the amount the government spent for their medical degree.

The proposed financial assistance would cover tuition and other school fees, allowance for books, equipment, supplies, dormitory, clothing and transportation, fees for internship and medical board review and other related miscellaneous and living expenses.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SCHOLARSHIP
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