300k college students to get Php40k or Php60k subsidy from CHEd

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) announced that it has begun channeling funds for 300,000 poor college students, with the scholarships amounting to a total of Php16 billion.

This certainly is good news!

In the Philippines where there are a lot of poor families, many could not afford to send their children to school to complete college education. A lot are not even able to let the kids study in high school because money is tight.

Thankfully, the government offers programs to help these families. One of these is the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES), one of the core programs of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (Republic Act No. 10931).

Under this scholarship, college students who were pre-identified to belong to the poorest of the poor are given a subsidy amounting to Php40,000 for students studying in state universities and colleges (SUCs) as well as local universities and colleges (LUCs). Meanwhile, those studying in private universities and colleges are given Php60,000.

300k college students to get Php40k or Php60k subsidy from CHEd
Photo credit: CNBC

The scholarship is not a free-tuition scheme but a grants-in-aid program. Instead, the money is intended to support the high costs of college education, particularly in transportation, board and lodging, books, and other supplies.

According to CHEd, the following qualified students will be prioritized:

  • continuing grantees of the Expanded Students Grants in Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) by CHEd;
  • students residing and studying in private HEIs in cities/municipalities with no existing SUC or CHEd-recognized LUC
  • students included in the Listahanan 2.0

Students not in the Listahanan 2.0 might still be qualified for the grant, provided that the slots for the above-mentioned criteria had not been filled up and they can show proof of indigency. This means that they must be able to submit barangay certificate of indigency or BIR certificate of no income. The scholars will be ranked according to per capita income.

The recipients for this grant-in-aid must also be enrolled for Academic Year 2018-2019.

Right now, funds are being released for the qualified students.

While the budget allotted for the program amounts to Php16 billion, this money is not enough to provide scholarships to all needy students. Moreover, it would only be covering Academic Year 2018-2019.

“Kulang 'yan because if you look at the Listahanan or the 4Ps list, there are about 1.2 million who would qualify but the money is good only for 300,000 slots,” revealed Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (Unifast) officer-in-charge Carmelita Yadao Sison.

300k college students to get Php40k or Php60k subsidy from CHEd
Photo credit: ABS-CBN News

Last Tuesday, December 18, CHEd chairman Prospero de Vera led the signing of memorandum of agreement with 1,000 private higher education institutions to transfer the funds for TES beneficiaries.

Checks have also been released to SUCs and LUCs.

“Today we are giving the checks to 190 public universities who also applied their students for Tertiary Education Subsidy,” de Vera announced.

He added that this is a ‘historic’ moment for the commission.

TES is in its first year of implementation, alongside other scholarships and programs under the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act which amounts to over Php40 billion.

  • Php15.851 billion for tertiary education subsidy (TES)
  • Php16 billion for free higher education
  • Php7 billion for free tech-voc education
  • Php1 billion for student loan program
  • Php11 million for the Tertiary Education Tracking and Reporting System
  • Php11 million for the administrative cost of Unifast 2018

These programs are expected to benefit around 1.2 million students in its first year of implementation. Aspiring scholars may look forward to these scholarships on next academic year.

For more information, visit the CHED website or the official UniFAST Facebook Page.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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