Scholarship program eyed for decommissioned MILF combatants
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - November 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA,Philippines —  The government is planning to establish a special scholarship or capacity development program for decommissioned members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and their dependents.

The program was among key agreements provided in the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

CHED Chairman J. Prospero de Vera III, OPAPP Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and BARMM Minister for basic, higher and technical education Mohagher Mohammad Iqbal on Wednesday inked the MOU aimed at providing assistance and ensuring quality tertiary education in the Bangsamoro region.

“We are assisting the BARMM consistent with the policy of President Duterte that all young Filipinos must have access to quality education and that no qualified student is denied access to education on account of poverty,” De Vera said.

The scholarship program will be on top of the existing support provided to students in tertiary institutions as provided by the free higher education law implemented by the government.

Galvez said they are requesting Congress to allocate funds for the implementation of the scholarship or capacity development program for the decommissioned combatants and their dependents.

 “I hope that through this agreement, we shall be able to reach out to those students residing in the ‘last mile’ areas, the underserved and most especially, the children of decommissioned MILF combatants. We are committed to support them until they achieve their full potentials,” Galvez said.

“I have no doubt that our student-beneficiaries will eventually become the next leaders of the BARMM. This is why we need to nurture them at an early stage. As they gain the knowledge, experience and expertise, we expect these young minds to be strong advocates of peace and moral governance in the future,” he added.

Iqbal underscored the importance of the partnership, highlighting challenges in the education sector in the region, including the lack of teachers and the low quality of education in several areas.

MILF MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT SPECIAL SCHOLARSHIP
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