By Dhel Nazario
Each institution requires a guide, every program, every agenda needs someone to overlook it and provide the necessary actions to make sure that it progresses over the course of a few years.
The Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) was recently joined by an additional 388 scholars from the original 8,994 for the incoming academic year 2018-2019 in DOST-Region 8.
The numbers and figures are often the ones highlighted when the news comes out and gets shared by each media outlet. Little do some know that there are people who work hard to make sure that these are accomplished, ensuring that the program is smoothly implemented, the risks managed, and the stakeholders’ needs well-tended.
In Visayas, a scholarship coordinator did more than his assigned task and became a father figure to the beneficiaries.
“I serve as their parent away from home because their biological parents are mostly from far-flung areas,” said Ramil T. Uy, scholarship coordinator of DOST Region 8.
The DOST facilitator believes that there’s fulfillment in assisting the scholars who rely on the stipend granted by the agency to buy their basic commodities. As much as possible, Uy makes himself available to the scholars.
He recalled one experience wherein he helped a beneficiary who was on the brink of losing his scholarship. The entire family of the student came knocking to his office each carrying a letter of reconsideration explaining the scholarship is the only thing that would lift them out poverty.
“I was moved and was tearful of the family’s predicament and I committed to helping them right there and then,” Uy said.
Another scholar, almost left home to find work in the city, believing that he won’t be able to study in college but took the qualifying exam anyway. On the day that he was to leave home, he learned that he passed the DOST scholarship qualifying exams. The would-be stowaway is now a teacher.
Uy and other program coordinators and personnel are a significant part of these programs who help those students who are in need not only financially, but also emotionally. Uy helped lobby for the increase of the scholars’ financial assistance and the inclusion of other courses in the priority courses of the program.
The presence of the scholarship opportunities was disseminated even in areas not normally visited by other government institutions—areas that require them to cross seas and rivers, carrying boxes of application forms, LCD projector, laptop, and bags containing clothes for their weeklong stay, hopping from one school to another.
“I feel proud of being a government servant because, in my own little way, I’m making a difference in the lives of these budding economic shapers of the country. What we do is guide them in the right direction by showing support, love, and care. I want them to feel that they are not alone in their journey,” Uy explained of his role as scholarship coordinator.
Uy’s first involvement in the scholarship program was in the late ’90s when he was often requested to administer the qualifying examinations. It was in 2008 when he was assigned to handle the program which he does up to this day. He himself has been a recipient of the DOST Human Resource Development Program. He holds a Masters in Technology Management from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, and he is currently on the second year of his doctoral program in Management Technology at the Eastern Visayas State University.
To him, being acknowledged by the scholars as among the people who helped them in their achievement is in itself a self-fulfillment.
“When they shout your name whenever you meet, acknowledge you in their social media or even in interviews they say how you’ve been a part of their formative years, how you have influenced them, is proof that you’ve somehow made a difference in their lives,” he said.