By Alexandria San Juan
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office in Western Visayas clarified that beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) who want to avail of the free college education program in the region must apply to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
This was after the Field Office VI received reports from some concerned citizens that there are state colleges and universities in the region allegedly offering free full tuition fees to aspiring tertiary students included in the 4Ps.
“Beneficiaries of 4Ps who wish to enroll in colleges in the region and avail the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) must apply at CHED through their respective schools and must qualify for the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST),” the DSWD Field Office VI said in a statement on Friday.
The agency explained that being a 4Ps beneficiary does not automatically qualify them for the free education program as qualified students for the subsidy were screened by the UniFAST Board.
According to the Department, qualified students under the TES prioritization program include continuing grantees of Expanded Students Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA); students who are part of households included in the Listahanan 2.0 ranked according to the estimated per capita household income; and students who are not part of the Listahanan 2.0 ranked according to estimate per capita household income based on submitted documentation of proof of income to be determined by the UniFAST Board.
TES is a program under the Free Education Law or Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017 under Republic Act 10931 which provides financial assistance to poor but deserving students in tertiary education.