BAGUIO CITY- The city council deliberated on a proposed resolution requesting the education department to immediately release the educational benefits of the families of the Special Action Force (SAF) who were brutally murdered in Mamasapano, Maguindanao over a year ago.
The committee on Education, Culture and Historical Research recommended discussion of the proposed resolution to consider the following observations.
DepEd Secretary Armin A. Luistro was directed by the President to assist in providing the relatives and families of the SAF 44 also with college educational benefits , the program that was identified and coordinated for the purpose is with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) that the request may have to be directed to CHED Chairperson Dr. Patricia Licuanan.
The financial assistance that may be extended will be in the form of a scholarship in which dependants may be found to qualify or grants in aid “TULONG DUNONG” of P 12,000 each under the Student Financial Assistance Program.
The release of the financial assistance or benefit will therefore be in accordance with the scholarship program to which the dependant may qualify to or with the “TULONG DUNONG” program.
They also included that to avail of the benefits, dependants will have to file their respective applications with the Regional Office of CHED where they reside which will collate all the applications and transmit the same to the central office of the CHED.
They stated that in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), eight of the nine (9) applications were transmitted to the central office on May 28, 2015. The last application that was accordingly received recently was likewise transmitted to the CHED, it will further appear that the processing of the applications will require the applicant to first enrol in a chosen school. Their enrolment form and a certification of enrolment will then have to be submitted to the CHED. In short, the financial assistance will be in the nature of a reimbursement.
The immediate release of the financial assistance to the dependants of SAF 44 will not be in accordance with the CHED system or program which the Committee finds will be destructive to the cause of SAF 44 for reasons that need not mentioned.
The financial assistance being provided by the CHED is in addition to educational aids or grants being provided the dependants of the SAF 44, including from being administered by the NAPOLCOM.
By JASON DE GUZMAN