BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance establishing a College Education Scholarship Program in the city for poor but deserving students and appropriating funds for the said purpose.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated the qualifications for applicants of the program shall be that the grantee must be a bonafide resident of the city; poor but deserving student as certified by the City Social Welfare and Development Office and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR); not more than 35 years old; of good moral character, and must have a general average of at least 85 percent upon graduation from high school with no grade lower than 85 percent and no failing marks.
The ordinance mandated the creation of a City Scholarship Committee to screen and select the qualified students for the program to be composed of the City Mayor as Chairman with the Regional Director of the Commission on Higher Education, Chairman of the City Council Committee on Education, Sangguniang Kabataan Federation (SKF) president and all school presidents and heads of participating schools as members.
Yangot proposed the appropriation of at least P5 million from the annual city budget to start the implementation of the program that will benefit the city’s youth.
Under the proposal, each grantee shall be entitled to a financial assistance of P10,000 per student for every semester and that there shall be at least 300 grantees per semester.
Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development.
Further, Section 17 of the Local Government Code of 1991 provides that every local government unit shall exercise such other powers and discharge such other functions and responsibilities as are necessary and appropriate, or incidental to efficient and effective provision of the basic services and facilities which include, among others, support for education.
While the city has contemplated on putting up a city college similar to the administration and operation of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Yangot underscored the project is far from being realized due to the huge budgetary requirements to undertake the implementation of such a noble education initiative
Yangot argued the best alternative is for the local government to provide a College Education Scholarship Program for poor but deserving students desiring to continue their higher level of education.
He pointed out the proposal will provide an opportunity for the youth to be able to earn a degree despite being indigent, encourage students to excel and do extremely well in their studies consistently, recognize academically intelligent but financially poor students and emphasize that poverty is not a hindrance to acquiring a college degree.
By Dexter A. See