GENERAL SANTOS CITY –The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced here that greater number of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P’s) who want to pursue college education can avail of college scholarship program.
According Marie Grace Ponce, 4P’s chief information officer, about 36,000 slots of scholarship were added to the more than 4,000 existing 4P’s scholars benefiting from the Students Grants-in-aid Program for Poverty Reduction Alleviation (SGPPA) for this year.
“For 2014 under the Expanded Student’s Grant-in-Aid Program (ESGPPA), the total college scholars under the program will be 40,000 due to expansion,” Ponce told reporters here from print, radio and social media during the media tour held from May 27-30.
She said that DSWD Field Office social workers assessed the children of beneficiaries of 4P’s and determines who were high school graduates that are willing to pursue college education to give them higher employment opportunities.
These children then of the beneficiaries are referred to Commission on Higher Education (CHED) which is also DSWD’s partner in the project along with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the implementing state universities and colleges (SUCs).
Under the said program, it ensures that the grantees are enrolled in selected SUCs duly recognized by CHED, channelled to CHED priority courses, and be extended the needed support that will guarantee completion of studies, thus qualify them for high-value added jobs in the future.
“A total of 4,041 scholars nationwide benefitted from the SGPPA for Academic Year 2012-2013. This year, a staggering 36,000 scholars will be added nationwide for Academic Year 2014-2015 through ESGPPA,” she cited.
Potential scholars must be 16-20 years old and must be willing and interested to become a student beneficiary. Moreover, an upcoming student grantee must pass the entrance examination set by the respective SUC.
However, in case the number of potential beneficiaries exceeds the allocated slots, grade requirement shall be applied.
Students belonging to the upper 20% of the graduating class will be prioritized.
The ESGPPA aims to contribute in the increase of the number of enrolment in higher education in line with the national government’s priority degree programs among poor households, and support college graduates’ entry to labor markets through placement assistance.
A student-grantee receives a maximum of Php 60,000.00 scholarship grant per school year or P 30,000.00 per semester.
This is broken down to Php20,000 per year for the tuition fee, and Php5,000 per year for the textbooks and other learning materials.
The remaining Php35,000, which is distributed to Php3,500 per month, is allocated for the stipend for the board and lodging, transportation, clothing, health/medical needs, basic school supplies and other related costs.
Most of the grantees are thankful to the program for it helped them to be closer to their dream in reaching higher dimensions in life, instead of being tied up working in the farm but provides them a way to be in the classroom studying.
The CHED and DSWD spearheaded the SGPPA in 2012.
It is a supporting arm that enables potential children of 4P’s beneficiaries who really have the determination to succeed and become productive workforce of the society and contribute to inclusive economic development.
4P’s or Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) is a flagship poverty alleviation program of the government that provides cash grants to poor families with health grant worth P500 and educational grants worth P300 to P500.00 each to the children studying in elementary and high school.
It aims to keep the children healthy and educated and teaches the parents to be productive or have positive change of behaviur towards poverty wherein they are being taught the value of good health and education as a key to fight poverty.
To date some 3.9 million poor Filipinos are benefiting from the program nationwide.
It is set to expand this year by enabling the children of the beneficiaries up to 18 years to finish high school by including them as recipient of the educational grant to ensure that they can finish high school.
This means that more poor Filipinos will be served by the program and will be given hope that there is an opportunity for them to break the continuous cycle of poverty that tied them or help the poor not to sink deeply into poverty.
According to DSWD, a study it conducted show that children who finished high school have higher chances of employability than those who finished elementary.
The program is a way also to motivate beneficiaries on how to explore their capacity to attain progress so that they will not hand over to their children the same poverty that they had live with and struggled to cope for a long time.(PNA)