PB OKs scholarship for surrenderers’ kids
Kristine B. Quintas (The Freeman) - August 10, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Provincial Board on Monday passed an ordinance granting scholarships to handicapped, marginalized and poor students as well as children of drug surrenderers and dysfunctional families.

The ordinance dubbed as “Paglaum (Hope) Scholarship Program” will provide P10,000 free tuition and payment of miscellaneous fees as well as a P1,500 subsistence allowance for qualified recipients aged 16 to  30 years old.

The funds for the tuition and miscellaneous fees will be paid by the Capitol directly to the public college where the beneficiaries will study, while the allowance will be deposited directly to their personal ATMs, which will be opened for this purpose.

 Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, who authored the ordinance, said the initial P1 million budget can send 70 qualified scholars or 10 beneficiaries each district to college once the next semester opens on October. The amount will be sourced from the 2016 Gender and Development budget.

 Magpale said she will be proposing P10 million budget for next year, which can accommodate around 700 beneficiaries.

 She said applicants have already started sending applications to them and some schools are inquiring about the government program.  However, she said guidelines have yet to be formulated.

 The applicant, however, has to prove that he/she is physically and mentally fit to study in any accredited public educational institutions through the submission of a medical certificate and a psychological evaluation certificate issued by a government office.

"They are not ordinary beneficiaries. They are either victims of trafficking, drug abuse and product of a dysfunctional family. We must evaluate them through psychological tests," she said.

 In line with this, applicants are required to submit a copy of his/her birth certificate; parents’ consent and guarantee of support; case summary that is duly prepared and signed by the local social worker and approved by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office;  medical certificate prepared and signed by local health officer; psychological evaluation report, duly prepared and signed by a licensed psychologist of a government facility or guidance counselor of the applicant’s school of origin; and copy of his/her report card during the last school year attended.

 The applications can be coursed through the Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC), Office of the Vice Governor, Offices of the Board Members or Office of the Mayor in all 51 towns and component cities.

 The selection of applicants for admission to the program will be done by the Paglaum screening committee.

 The committee is headed by the governor and the chairperson of PWC, co-chaired by the vice governor and vice-chairman of PWC  with consultant of barangay affairs, Gender and Development (GAD) officer, PSWDO, provincial health officer, treasurer, budget officer, account and Public Employment Service Office head, as members.

 The applicants can pursue technical/vocational and/or tertiary education in any state colleges and universities.

Those who want to pursue college can also enroll themselves at the any private schools that offer technical-vocational courses like plumbing, welding and masonry, among others.

 According to Magpale, the scholarship program is open to all residents of the province who wish to pursue college education but couldn’t do so due to their respective circumstances.

 The program is open to victims of children and women abuse, human trafficking, rape, child pornography and dropouts as well as orphans, children of single parents and children in conflict with the law.

 The family of the applicant should also not have an income of more than P10,744 per month which is considered as below the poverty threshold. Also, not a recipient of any other public or private scholarship grants.

 The student should maintain a passing grade of not less than 75 percent in all of his or her subjects. (FREEMAN)

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