Seven hundred incoming college students of Cebu Province will be the beneficiaries of the Capitol’s new scholarship program which the Provincial Board approved on Monday, June 15.
Cebu Province Grants Intended for Tertiary Students (CP-GIFTS), with an allocated budget of P15 million, is a unified scholarship program of the Province replacing the Paglaum Scholarship Program and the New Cebu Tertiary Education Assistance Program (CTEAP).
Seventh district Board Member Christopher Baricuatro, the author of the CP-GIFTS Ordinance, said this consolidates all existing scholarship programs that extend assistance to “poor but deserving” college students from Cebu Province’s 44 municipalities and seven component cities.
“Ang CP-GIFTS naa tay maintaining grade nga 85 percent. So mao to pirmi ibalik-balik og sulti ni Gov (Governor Gwendolyn Garcia) nga kung scholar ka sa Province kinahanglan duna pud quality ang mga scholars dili pwede nga basta makapasar ok na,” he said, adding this will be prioritizing student-graduates from public high schools.
Each district is allocated slots for 100 scholars. In case a district has less than 100 qualified scholars, the excess shall be assigned to the other districts to complete the allocation.
To be qualified for the scholarship, the applicant must be an incoming first year student and have a general weighted average of at least 85 percent.
He/she must be a resident of the Province of Cebu for at least one year prior to application and the parents must be registered voters of the Province with a combined income of not more than P200,000 per year.
The applicant must also not be a beneficiary of any other subsidy in the form of living allowance from the government or any private institution or individual.
He/she must also pass the entrance exam and all other requirements for admission by presenting study load or certificate of enrolment.
Baricuatro said the students enrolled in public and private schools taking agriculture, fisheries, accountancy, real estate management, engineering, pre-medical courses, social work, psychology, criminology, mechatronics/robotics, information technology and other computer-related courses shall receive financial assistance, whether through cash or check, in the amount of P2,000 per month or P20,000 assistance per annum.
The P15 million allocation will be sourced from the funds of the Province of Cebu, private institutions, foreign aid or grants, private organizations, business establishments, civic organizations, or a combination thereof.
Since there are only 700 scholars receiving P20,000 yearly, total assistance reaches P14 million. Baricuatro said the P1 million difference will serve as buffer and will be allocated to scholars having summer classes.
Failure to meet the requirements including the maintaining grade of 85 percent or its equivalent would be the basis for the grantee being dropped from the scholarship program.
The Provincial School Board will conduct the screening process for qualified students which is set to start on July as classes will be opening on August 24, 2020.
The school board, Baricuatro said, will hold a meeting to discuss the most applicable mode of conducting the screening of deserving students.
“I’m thinking nga through online kay lisod kaayo ang public transport labi na taga Province, layo kaayo padung sa city (Cebu City). It’s either through online or kami ang muadto sa district,” he said.
Meanwhile, a clarification will be made if Paglaum scholars can be absorbed to the CP-GIFTS program.
“Kana ang klaruhon pa nako. But before pa napasar ni siya (CP-GIFTS), nagka-istorya mi ni Gov, okay ra man siya nga i-absorb ang mga Paglaum scholars basta nakaabot sila sa 85 percent maintaining grade,” he said, adding Paglaum scholarship program had no maintaining grade.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia expressed her gratitude to the Provincial Board for passing the new scholarship program of the Province.
“I would like to thank the Provincial Board for coming up with an honest-to-goodness scholarship that will really help poor but deserving students kay this is people’s money that we are spending," she said in a press conference on Monday.
"So pangitaon sa nato kadtong mga estudyante nga utukan apan dili intawn maka-afford. Mao to ato tabangan usa, dili nato ipugos tong naka 75 lang ka. Kung mao na di nalang ta mag usik-usik sa atong kwarta,” she added.
The governor sees the scholarship program will open many opportunities for the youth since tuition fees and miscellaneous fees in state universities and colleges are free and even in private schools if students will qualify the UniFAST (Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education) program of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). (Mylen Manto)