By Philippine News Agency
Benguet’s provincial government has approved the allocation of PHP8.5 million to start its “study now, pay later” program this year.
Ordinance 07-120, which covers financial study aid, earmarks PHP6 million to help send poor but deserving students to college to finish a four-year degree.
The ordinance provides that there shall be four grantees from each of the 13 municipalities and the grantees must finish their courses in four years.
The ordinance amended an earlier version and increased the number of scholars in each municipality from two to four, as well as the allowance for assistance from PHP5,000 to PHP6,000.
It further stated that each grantee is entitled to PHP12,000 per school year, provided that the scholar obtains passing grades in all subjects.
The amount is part of the annual provincial budget to be taken from its General Fund and could be raised as the need arises.
A grantee must have been born in Benguet, a bona fide resident of the province, and poor but deserving, as certified by both the chief of barangay where he or she resides and the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office. The scholar must also be no more than 21 years old.
Provincial Administrator Noel Ngolob said the implementing rules and regulations for another program, covering students taking up medicine or a medical course, are still being finalized.
Ngolob said PHP2 million had already been allocated for the program, which would have only one grantee per municipality.
The ordinance, authored by Board Member Juan Nazarro, aims to address the health problems and the lack of medical practitioners coming from the province due to lack of financial capacity to pursue the study of medicine.
Another program that covers the technical-vocational program has also been allotted PHP500,000 and would have two grantees from each of Benguet’s 13 municipalities.