MANY still did not know about the newly passed law called Iskolar ng Bayan, especially in the provinces.

Representative Roman T. Romulo, chair of the Committee on Higher and Technical Education during an interview in the Television program Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa on Sunday, said the new law still has to be known to many so that high school graduates can avail of its benefits.

Under this law, the top 10 high school graduates in any public school in the Philippines automatically become scholars in any State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in the region where they graduated, explained Romulo.

The law also exempts the qualified graduates from taking the entrance examination of the SUC of their choice and are automatically qualified, Romulo added.

The Iskolar ng Bayan Law is already implemented this year so all the top 10 public high school students who graduated last April can avail the scholarship, Romulo said.

As to the number of high school graduates who have availed themselves of the program last year, Romulo said they still do not have all the figures since there are some SUCs that have had a calendar shift and their classes will only start this August.

“Matatapos ang pagkuha ng figure a month or two after August pa (The figures will be completed a month or two after August),” Romulo said.

There are around 8,000 public high schools in the Philippines, so there should be at least 80,000 who will benefit from the program, he added.

The Iskolar ng Bayan law has also a twin bill called Unified Student Financial Assistance System For Tertiary Education Act, a grant-in aid program for Filipino students who graduated in high school (in both public and private) regardless of whether their grade point average is high or not as long as they do not have a failing grade, to give assistance to those who cannot afford college, Romulo said. (RCP)