COA wants 115 Science High grads to return P18 M for not taking science course in college » Manila Bulletin News

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COA wants 115 Science High grads to return P18 M for not taking science course in college

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By Ben R. Rosario

Some 115 scholars who graduated from the state-run Philippine Science High School system have been asked to refund government some P18.89 million for reneging on their pledge to take up science and technology courses in college.

In the recently released 2016 annual audit report of the PSHS, the Commission on Audit (COA) also called for a review of the scholarship policy to avoid inequitable distribution of benefits for high school scholars.

Commission on Audit logo (wikimedia / MANILA BULLETIN)

Commission on Audit logo
(wikimedia / Manila Bulletin)

The COA recommended that scholarship contracts between the PSHS and students must now contain provisions that would allow the school to take legal action against scholars and their parents for any breach of the agreement.

The COA made the recommendation after finding that 115 scholars allegedly violated their scholarship agreements with the PSHS by taking up non-science and technology courses in college.

The scholars completed their secondary education from Ilocos Regional Campus; Western Visayas Campus, Eastern Visayas Campus, Central Mindanao Campus, and Southern Mindanao Campus.

“As of December 31, 2016, there were at least 115 scholars who have not complied with the requirements of the Scholarship Agreement, especially the provision on the pursuit of a university degree in science and technology, hence, should be required to refund the scholarship benefits totaling P18,904,792.40,” COA said.

The state audit agency said the PSHS should demand refund of the total allowances and other expenses government spent for their high school education.

In recommending the inclusion of provisions allowing PSHS to pursue legal remedies in the scholarship agreements, COA noted that the school management had admitted having limited means to impose sanctions against scholars who ignore the demand for refund.

“In the absence of provisions in the Scholarship Agreement on the legal remedies that may be pursued by the System towards the recovery of the monetary value of the scholarship due to breach of agreement, the receivables from defaulting scholars remained uncollected which deprives the government of funds that could had been used to finance the scholarship of those who are willing to pursue science courses or otherwise be utilized for other government priority programs and projects,” COA said.

In the same report, the COA said a review of the scholarship qualification so students of the Central Visayas campus indicated that the qualification of 18 students “was not consistent with the Guidelines for Scholarship Categorization” under the PSHS system.

State auditors said 17 of the 18 were overpaid a total P160,000 while one was underpaid by P10,000 under  the guidelines on the socio-economic status of students.

In the case of the Western Visayas Campus, audit examiners disclosed that nine randomly selected students who had been categorized full scholars were “seen to have been living a comfortable life” with “some having motor vehicles and other appliances/gadgets that contributes to a life of convenience,” COA noted.

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  • Just_JT

    This is similar to 4Ps beneficiaries who own expensive gadgets and who even display it while on a queue to get their allowances.

    • Vic Nierva

      I beg to disagree with the comparison. This is very different. The case of 4Ps is a case of taking advantage of the government support. The case of Pisay scholars is that the scholarship defines their future. If you finished in Pisay, it means you toiled, labored to complete your studies there—it is not easy. Then there’s another stage, life in college. Vocational psychology tells us that it is an ongoing process. These scholars were just kids when they were made to sign that agreement. Yes, they knew they should have taken a course in the sciences, but who knows what may come along the way? I have Pisay friends who did not take science courses, but they are now renowned, nationally recognized artists—writers, visual artists, law professionals, etc. But did they abandon science? I don’t think so. What I’m trying to say is that the government must rethink this condition for entering Pisay. This is high school, meaning, basic education. Basic education is still a formative, discerning age when it comes to college degree. What they’ve learned in Pisay must equip them in the sciences and must also help them in discerning what college course to take. If they choose a different path, then it’s part of the outcome.

      • Buknoy

        Don’t these minors have parents who acted on their behalf? It’s not the students who are being made to answer for the provisions of the contract but the parents. If this violation is left unchecked then it will defeat the purpose of the scholarship aside from depleting funds that can be made available for other deserving scholars in the future.

  • Anti Jaundice

    goodness mga scholars pa naman walang integrity

    • Jobi J.

      Well, mga 12 years old palang naman sila noong pinirmahan ang contract, ano ba malay ng mga bata paano kung iba pala ang mapusuang fields pagdating ng college. Baka ang iba, pinilit lang ng magulang mag Pisay, hindi naman pala nila magugustuhan ang STEM.

      • Patrick Celon

        From experience, sobrang totoo nyan. Iniiwan sa bata magbasa at magsign ng contract, tapos yung parent naman “bahala na, basta makaaral ka sa Pisay” yung mentality. Tapos pag nahuli,”we’ll figure that out when we get there”. Di kasi naeenforce yun eh. Lalo na yung ibang gov’t scholarships na may return service (like DOST, etc. etc.). So parang ang naiisip ng mga parents as long as makakuha ng magandang discount/stipend G lang.

        (Edit: iirc merit-based ang entrance sa Pisay, pero ang full/partial/special stipend yung may kinalaman sa socio-economic status ng family)

        • Victor32

          DOST Scholarships are well enforced, IIRC.
          There is a service requirement wherein you are required to work in the Philippines for a few years and you are actually blacklisted from travelling with Bureau of Immigration until the service is up.

          At least per my experience with coworkers with DOST Scholarships. Business travel abroad was difficult for them due to the paperwork involved every time.

          • the_one_who_isnt_named

            That is true, for college and graduate scholarships.

      • Anti Jaundice

        so ibalik ng mga magulang ang pera ginamit para sa matrikula sa high school!

    • Liam

      lol saang parte sila walang integrity? Dahil ba iba ang napusuan nilang kurso ay selfish na sila?

      • Anti Jaundice

        gumastos ang goberyo sa pagaaral nila ng high school in the end gusto naman pala maging beautician???? gets mo?

        • youtu.be/4pUc7SD0PmU

          edi ibig sabihin hindi nakapagprovide ang government ng appropriate environment to mold future engineers, scientists, etc.

          • Anti Jaundice

            this is the most stupid reply I got in disqus… it’s gov’t fault right now of not providing the right environment, despite that this idiot already received government support for education…. ungrateful idiot (pretending to be well educated) like you should not have received government support. pay back the government what you owe it! CHEATER!

    • Vic Nierva

      Please don’t judge right away regarding integrity. You do not know really. I have lots of Pisay friends who have also chosen the ‘other’ path but they also excelled. They are renowned writers, law professionals, artists, etc. still performing their tasks for the nation. Remember that high school is a discerning, formative age, a preparatory for decisions for greater challenges in life. This is not a case of integrity—they still possess that, I am sure of that. This is a case of a government condition that needs rethinking.

      • Anti Jaundice

        what reneging on your contract because there is a change of heart and ‘other’ path seems enticing is not an issue of integrity??? hence what do you call stealing from government coffers because it is an easy way to spend for my child’s education? please help me draw a line here, when it it a mistake? fool!

    • mm

      This is so hilarious. We were literally 12 years old when we signed that outdated contract. Let’s talk about integrity when you’ve personally signed and read that damn contract at 12 years of age but until then you have no right to tell me or any other scholar na wala kaming integrity.

      • Anti Jaundice

        hahaha stupid excuse!!!! you are supposed to be assisted by your parents when you signed that contract! ignorance to stipulations excuses no one! then you claimed you are well educated right!!!! CHEATERS! pay back what you owe the government!

  • Al

    well there you go.

  • Rygee

    I think if they would enroll in college at nakita they come from PSHS would be denied entrance to non science courses.

  • Sanchoboy

    Most students are from well-off families, a sad reality for a scholarship program intended to achievers from less fortunate group. #Palakasan

    • Melissa beallucan

      for achievers. . let’s give chance to less fortunate, but let’s not discriminate against the mor fortunate – it’s science geared for nat’l dev’t. . wld we rather disincentiv working up r means to poverty level only. .

      • Sanchoboy

        So let them enroll in Pisay as a regular paying student and NOT as scholars. We are talking about scholarship here, fyi. If you come from a well-off family then why you still want to partake a piece of cake intended for less fortunate?

        • Chordate

          Intended as merit for achievers, not less fortunate. Your stand is ok, for well-off, should be a diff contract, student pays tuition, completes science course, reimburse, why? because their merit still deserves free educ

    • Vic Nierva

      Where’s the stats for this? Or is this an assumption? What if a billionaire kid is more than qualified to take Pisay as a full scholar because s/he’s really brilliant in Science. I don’t think palakasan is the case here, because it is very difficult to enter Pisay; it is twice or thrice more difficult to survive daily studies there. So let’s not jump into judgment.

      • Sanchoboy

        I do understand your point but we are talking about Scholarship Program which was created for the less fortunate families. Let the billionaire kid study in Pisay as a regular paying student but their slots should be limited.

        • Libia L. Chavez

          Science scholarships should not be limited/unlimited by economic status. The truth of the matter is that many parents who are more economically endowed help the school and the class in many ways, in many co-curricular activities like field trips, projects, exposure to cultural activities like attending concerts , all for the total development of these children. Many of these activities are no longer funded by the government but are initiatives of parents for the benefit of the whole class. These activities are all-inclusive, no one classmate is left behind because his/her parents cannot afford. And by the way, there is no such thing as a waste of science education. Even if a Pisay graduate take up Law or Economics, the science perspective will still be essential. In fact if lawmakers and policy makers are all science oriented we would not be having the preponderance of lack of logic and yes , common sense, as we are experiencing today.

          • Sanchoboy

            So then why these “economically endowed parents” need scholarship when they can ably enrolled their children in reputable institutions which also specialize in science programs? One’s greed will not be justified by helping the school on their co/extra-curricular activities. Leave the scholarships to the less fortunate students particularly in Pisay, plain and simple.

          • Melissa beallucan

            not as well off as U. . Lets change name to Poor Natl Science so no mistaking. . Thing s, no science reasonably priced for not as well endowed as u. .and not as good. .

  • El Fabros

    Yes, dapat lang ibalik ang benepisyong natanggap kundi tinupad ang kontrata. So mga iskolars ng bayan, anong say nyo?

  • Sergio

    This is what happens when you give things to people instead of them having to work for them. Welcome to Socialism.

    • Vic Nierva

      Ooops. Wrong premise, I think. They worked for it. Studying in Pisay is never easy. You are still in your formative age and your combat daily studies that average Filipino students don’t undergo.

    • mm

      We worked for it. You have no right to discredit our hard work.