Non-passage of budget delays scholars' allowances-A A +A
Sunday, March 10, 2013
TWO scholars of the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental said the non-approval up to this time of the 2013 provincial budget caused the delay of the release of their allowances.
Provincial scholar Anne Marie Drua, 19, junior elementary education major at the Philippine Normal University in Cadiz City, said that life had been doubly difficult, as her parents have no recourse but to approach relatives and friends for a loan because she also has a brother who is in college.
Drua's brother, Dennis Robert, is currently a freshman at John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation. Her mother, Ma. Asuncion, is a school-teacher at Lantawan Integrated School.
"We have no stipend since January, no book allowance for the current semester and no money to pay for the dorm rental. It sometimes provides relief when I talk to my fellow scholars and discover that we are all in the same boat," said Drua, a recipient of the District Educational Scholarship.
The Negros Occidental Scholarship Program (NOSP) has close to 400 scholars at present. It is a component of the Negros First! Agenda of Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. under the "Strong Support for Education" that seeks to provide educational grants to deserving young Negrenses, employees and children of government workers.
Since its inception, the NOSP had produced topnotchers in nursing, education, accountancy and veterinary medicine licensure board exams.
NOSP scholars are entitled to free tuition, monthly stipend of P2,500 that covers for their dorm rental and daily expenses, P2,000 book allowance, P1,000 per semester for uniform and P1,500 assistance for projects, papers, among others, including the summer term.
The scholars include children of laborers, agricultural workers, employees or their children, taxi drivers and other recipients belonging to the marginal sectors.
In 2010, the Provincial Government appropriated P19 million for the NOSP, P21 million in 2011, and P25 million last year for the eight types of scholarship grants, the Provincial Human Resource Management Office said.
Another scholar, Ma. Neda Barbosa, whose father, Mario, works as a watchman at the Capitol's General Services Office, said her family is thankful for the NOSP program.
“While we are now in dire straits because we have not been receiving our allowances, we remain hopeful that very soon, our leaders will see the light,” she said.
"The NOSP is a very good program for deserving students. We are being sent to school free with the goal of improving our lives and ensuring our future," added Barbosa, a BS Business Administration senior major in Management Accounting at the Carlos Hilado Hilado Memorial State College Fortune Towne Campus.
The 2013 budget is still up for deliberation by the committee on finance after it was sent back to the committee for further scrutiny by the majority of the members of the Provincial Board.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 11, 2013.