Public school students spared from grad fees

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/RHM (The Freeman) - March 9, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines- Some 26,050 elementary and high school graduating students in Cebu City public schools will no longer have to pay for their graduation fees.

This is after the Cebu City government decided that it would disburse P3.7 million as subsidy for the P150 graduation fee each of the students were supposed to pay this month.

The subsidy is a result of the passage of the newly approved City Ordinance 2412 (Ordinance Providing for Graduation Fees Subsidy to all Public Elementary and secondary Schools in the City of Cebu) that City Councilor Alvin Dizon authored.

He said the first beneficiaries of the ordinance are 108 schools comprising 65 elementary schools and 43 high schools that have registered with the Local School Board to avail of the subsidy.

Dizon, City Council committee on education chairman, said that the ordinance provides the assistance to promote every child’s right to education.

He said he has already endorsed a proposed Memorandum of Agreement, which the City Council will tackle during its regular session this Wednesday.

The MOA will be signed by Mayor Michael Rama and Department of Education-Cebu City Schools Division Superintendent Rhea Mar Angtud.

Under the MOA, DepEd should submit to the city a consolidated liquidation report presented by the schools. Failure to submit the liquidation report means the school could no longer avail of the subsidy during the next school year.

“Ang DepEd ang mo-process sa liquidation para ma-monitor nato nga dili ma-misuse ang funds. They (schools) have to liquidate kay mao na atong requirement before maka-avail sa sunod nga subsidy,” Dizon said.

He said the subsidy would “minimize if not totally solve the financial burden” of parents and students during graduation, and that it supports the ordinance that provides for a college scholarship program for high school graduates in city-accredited colleges and universities.

Section 2 of the ordinance states that the graduation subsidy will be given directly to the school and not to the graduates and that it should be used for expenses directly related to and necessary for the conduct of the graduation ceremony.

Allowable items to be funded by the graduation subsidy are the printing of the graduation program and certificates; printing of the diplomas; stage decorations; rental of a sound system, if the barangay where the school is located has no such equipment; rental for chairs, if the barangay where the school is located cannot provide the required number; stipend; food; and other expenses as may be approved by the Cebu City Local School Board.

Dizon said that he is targeting to distribute the checks for the 108 schools by third week of March.

“Ang subsidy atong ihatag DepEd and sila na ang mag-distribute sa schools. Dapat sa third week of March distribution of checks na sa schools kay fourth week mag-start naman ang graduation,” he said.  (FREEMAN)

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