Grace Poe slams CHED for cutting scholarship budget
NUEVA ECIJA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe on Friday, August 28, criticized the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for allocating a lower 2016 budget for one of its student financial assistance programs (StuFAPs), the Tulong Dunong program.
Speaking to thousands of high school students during a Youth Leadership Forum held in Constancio Padilla National High School in San Jose, Nueva Ecija, Poe called the young people the "treasure, present, and future" of the country.
"Dapat h'wag tipirin ng gobyerno ang dapat mapunta sa inyo. Nabanggit na ang scholarship ng CHED ay mababawasan ng P300 million. Sa tingin ko, hindi dapat. Ipaglaban natin na mas marami ang makatapos ng college," Poe said in an impromptu speech after she ditched her prepared one.
(Government should not scrimp on what should go to the youth. It was mentioned that CHED will decrease the budget for scholarships by P300 million. I think this shouldn't happen. Let's fight for more students to finish college.)
A check with the 2016 National Expenditure Program shows that while the total CHED budget for StuFAPs increased to P2 billion ($434 million) from P1.85 billion in 2015, the allocation for the Tulong Dunong program will suffer a decrease of P328 million ($7.1 million).
|Regular scholarship program||539,344||539,344||0||0|
|Tulong Dunong program||1,314,255||
|Iskolar ng Bayan||0||382,171||382,171|
(for children and dependents of sugar industry workers, small farmers)
*Data from CHED
The Tulong Dunong program is for graduating high school students with a general weighted average of at least 80% in 3rd year, and at least 80% in the first 3 grading periods of 4th year. The scholarship can be availed of by qualified students belonging to the following:
- persons with disabilities (PWDs),
- solo parents and their dependents
- members of cultural minorities
- members of the hill tribes
- senior citizens
Poe said it is the government's responsibility to provide young people more opportunities in order to succeed in life.
"Marami sa inyo dito ang nangangarap na balang-araw, kayo ay makakatulong sa inyong pamilya. Balang araw kayo ay makakatulong sa inyong gobyerno at sa inyong bansa. Lahat po tayo dapat ay magkaroon ng pagkakataon na ganyan, at [ito ay] responsibilidad ng gobyerno bilang mga magulang din natin," she said. (Many of you here dream of helping your parents in the near future. In the near future, you can also help your government and your country. Everyone should have access to opportunities, and this is the responsibility of the government as our parent.)
Poe's Nueva Ecija visit on Friday is the third time she met with the youth this week.
On Monday, August 24, she met college students of University of San Carlos in Cebu. Two days later on August 26, she visited 3 universities in Pangasinan, taking selfies with some of the students. – Rappler.com