By LITO RULONA
THE government has set aside P40 billion for scholarships in state-run colleges and universities, and the amount could be doubled next year, the chairman of the House’s appropriations committee said on Wednesday.
Rep. Karlo Alexie Nograles of Davao City’s 1st District told a news conference here that the beneficiaries include students of the Initao Community College, Magsaysay Community College, and Tagoloan Community College in Misamis Oriental, the and University of Science Technology of the Southern Philippines (USTP) here.
Nograles said the budget would likely be increased by 100 percent next year so as to aid more students seeking college education, and to ensure free tuition.
But he said students need to pass the the entrance examination given by state colleges and universities.
“Kung makapasar ka sa exam then libre ka na sa tuition and miscellaneous fees,” he said.
He said that aside from the scholarship program “Tulong-Dunong Program” of the Commission on Higher Education (Ched), there is the Tertiary Education System (TES) for students from families covered by the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
Ched, through the TES program, spends P20 thousand every semester for qualified students from impoverished families. This, he said, is supposed to cover expenses for books, school projects, board and lodging, and allowances.
“The fund [for this] comes from the P40-billion education budget,” Nograles said.
For those who fail to qualify or pass the entrance examinations, Nograles gave this advice: take up free vocational courses being offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).