TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Tabuk City scholars who graduated with Latin honors were given recognition during the regular flag-raising ceremony at the City Hall, receiving cash incentives from the city government through its City Special Concerns and Coordinating Office (CSCCO).
Mayor Darwin Estrañero personally awarded PhP 15,000 cash incentive each to Mary Angelique Balisong, Christine Joy De Guzman, Michelle Wailan, and Rosario Garunay, all of whom graduated magna cum laude from Kalinga State University.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Delos Santos, who graduated cum laude from the same university, received P 10,000 cash incentive.
The scholars are the pride of the city government’s scholarship program with the CSCCO saying their achievements are an indicator of the program’s success in providing financial assistance to help students achieve their academic goals.
According to the CSCCO, a total of 640 scholars graduated in the second semester of school year 2021-2022, of which 190 were senior high graduates while 450 were college graduates.
In short speeches, the scholars expressed their gratitude for the program. Wailan, a daughter of a farmer and sari-sari store owner, said the scholarship relieved her parents of the financial burden of sending her to school for three years. “I excelled so that the city government will not regret choosing me as their scholar,” she said.
“This scholarship gave me the hope to dream big. I hope you can help more young people to reach their aspirations,” Garunay said.
The city government has been running a scholarship program since 2002 to help poor and deserving students.
In 2021, Mayor Darwin C. Estrañero initiated the expansion of the program with its coverage expanded to include senior high students and stipend increased from Php 4,000 to Php 5,000 per semester. Additionally, the minimum grade requirement was reduced from 80 percent to 75 percent so that more students will qualify.
As a result, the number of scholars increased from 2,500 to 3,000 per semester, the highest in the program’s history. Around Php 20 million was allocated for the program for 2022.
The expansion was formalized through Ordinance No. 5 series of 2021, authored by Councilor Eduardo Sacayle.
“Thousands of young Tabukeños have completed their degrees and are now contributing members of society thanks to the scholarship program. One method to give kids from impoverished homes a chance to achieve their goals is to expand the scholarship program. This will ensure that Tabuk City nurtures productive and responsible residents now and in the future,” Mayor Estrañero had said of the program.
Photo by Ian Addatu