College students to receive P2k-10k assistance in new scholarship program

College students from both public and private institutions will no longer worry about their tuition and other educational fees as the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) has approved an ordinance amending an existing scholarship program.
By a unanimous vote on third and final reading, the provincial board enacted an ordinance crafting the College Education Financial Program (CEFAP) and amending Provincial Ordinance No. 018-2013, formerly known as the College Education and Livelihood for the Youth (CELY) Program.
According to PBM Robert Fernandez, who authored the measure, the CEFAP aims to provide financial aid to more than 800 college students in Catanduanes through its annual funding allocation of P15 million.
“This [CEFAP] will provide financial aid to less fortunate Catandunganons,” Fernandez said, just moments after the approval of the said resolution.
The newly approved program-ordinance shall provide students enrolled in Private Higher Educational Institutions (PHEIs) with P4,000 every semester, which is 50 percent greater than the P2,000 financial assistance provided by the CELY Program.
Students from State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) are eligible to receive P2,000 per semester under CEFAP.
However, the financial assistance is limited to 500 students for each PHEI and 200 students per SUC.
To qualify for the assistance, an incoming first year student must have a General Weighted Average of at least 85%, no failing grade in Grade 12 or 4th year high school, and must submit a certification of good moral character.
Those currently enrolled and those reentering college after stopping due to unfortunate circumstances must have a GWA of at least 2.2 or its equivalent, no failing grade in their previous terms of attendance and have a certification of good moral character.
To qualify for continuous renewal, a grantee must maintain a GWA of at least 2.5 and must not commit behavioral misconduct that would bring significant damage to the school, person, community and the provincial government.
Current CELY scholars will be retained in CFAP provided they are subject to the renewal requirements.
In addition, a maximum of 200 applicants who exhibited excellent academic performance are eligible to receive a P10,000 stipend per semester as transportation allowance, living allowance and internet allowance. The application will pass through a qualification process and approved by the office of Governor Joseph Cua.
Aside from having no record of conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, the applicant must not be a recipient of a scholarship grant other than CEFAP and must enroll in a PHEI or SUC within Catanduanes.
Incoming first-year students applying for the stipend must have GWA of at least 92%, with no failing grade in any subject in Grade 12 while existing and returning students must have a GWA of at least 1.8.
All CEFAP grantees are mandated to attend and participate in outreach programs of the provincial government or any program specified by the LGU, as part of their social responsibility.
PBM Fernandez said that the resolution was necessary to calibrate funding and budget allocation, and anchor it on certain laws, particularly Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017.
“The main purpose of the revision of the existing ordinance [CELY Program] is to provide a more aligned policy to the current situation of higher education,” Fernandez explained.
The CELY Program subsidizes students enrolled in SUCs of a tuition fee-free college education; however, RA 10931 completely vouches SUCs of such fees.
“The original ordinance provides subsidized tuition-free education [in SUCs] but it is no longer applicable because of the RA 10931,” he added.
Moreover, he divulged that the filing and approval of the ordinance would not be possible without the collaborative efforts of Gov. Cua and the members of the SP.
“We have pushed [this] for the continuous inclusion of provisions in the provincial programs and budget for scholarships in our SUCs,” he said.

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