Capitol scholarships open for children of pushers, users

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita July 18,2016 - 10:55 PM

A PROPOSED ordinance that would grant college scholarships to handicapped, marginalized and poor students will also include children of self-confessed drug users and pushers who surrendered to the police.

The proposed ordinance dubbed as “Paglaum (Hope) Scholarship Program” will provide free tuition and payment of miscellaneous fees as well as a P1,000 subsistence allowance for qualified recipients.

“These children are victims. They don’t choose their parents,” said Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, who heads the committee on women, family and minors of the Provincial Board (PB).

The ordinance passed first reading and was referred to the committee on education for further review.

An initial budget of P1 million will be set aside for the program once it gets approved within the year.

The budget will be taken from the province’s Gender and Development (GAD) Plan and budget for this year.

Magpale, who authored the ordinance, said the initial budget can send 57 qualified scholars to college once the next semester opens on October.

“There’s a possibility that we can spread the money to accommodate 100 scholars. But I already talked to Gov. Junjun (Davide) and I asked him for a P10 million budget by next year,” she said.

The scholarship program is open to all residents of the province who wish to pursue college education but couldn’t do so due to their respective circumstances.

The program is open to victims of children and women abuse, human trafficking, rape, child pornography and dropouts as well as orphans, children of single parents and children in conflict with the law.

The family of the applicant should also not have an income of more than P10,744 per month which is considered as below the poverty threshold.

The applicant should maintain a passing grade of not less than 75 percent in all of his or her subjects.

A screening committee will be headed by the governor and the chairperson of the Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC).

The funds for the tuition and miscellaneous fees will be paid by the province directly to the public college where the applicant will study.

A P1,000 allowance will be deposited directly to their personal ATMs which will be opened for this purpose.

In return, the scholars will have to report to the technical working group of the PWC after every rating period in order to discuss problems or concerns in their studies.

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