‘Pantawid’ sends 2T in CV to college for free

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Monday, August 18, 2014


AT LEAST 2,000 persons in Central Visayas who might otherwise drop out of college or cannot afford to pay for tuition are pursuing a degree for free.

They are beneficiaries of the government’s cash transfer or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which now includes the Expanded Students’ Grants-In-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation.

The grants are meant to help poor families by enabling some of their members to get high value-added jobs. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Budget and Management, Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Labor and Employment conceptualized it.

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In Central Visayas, about 2,093 students have availed themselves of the program, said DSWD 7 director Merceditas Jabagat.

Of that number 982 are studying in Cebu, particularly in the Cebu Normal University (CNU) and the Cebu Technological University.

At least 629 student-grantees attend the Bohol Island State University in Tagbilaran City, while 150 are in the Siquijor State College and 222 in the Negros Oriental State University.

Each beneficiary is entitled to a maximum of P60,000 per year or P30,000 per semester.

The grant is intended to cover the costs of tuition and other school fees; academic and extracurricular expenses, purchase of textbooks; board and lodging, transportation and clothing; admission and entrance fees; health and other valid related expenses.

When it was launched two years ago, 260 students first availed themselves of the scholarship. They are expected to graduate next year, Jabagat added.

The priority courses chosen by CHED for the program include information technology; agriculture and other related fields; teacher education, science and math; engineering, health sciences, arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences; business administration, architecture, maritime and communication. Priority courses are often determined depending on the region.

The program has a national budget of P2.5 billion for academic year 2014-2015.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 19, 2014.

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