Extend subsidy application to fill 300k slots – Gatchalian to CHEd
Extend the application for the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) if all 300,000 slots are not filled after its deadline, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian urged the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).
Gatchalian made the exhortation after the CHEd aired concern over the “limited” slots for the TES only to later express difficulty in filling up the 300,000 scholarships under the program.
“Sana ay siguruhin ng CHED na mapuno muna nila lahat ng 300,000 slots para sa TES bago nila isara ang application period. Sayang naman ang P16 billion na budget ng TES kung hindi ito magagamit lahat,” Gatchalian said in statement on Sunday.
“Kung hindi pa rin mapupuno ang lahat ng slots sa October 30 ay sana i-extend pa ulit ito ng CHEd hanggang sa makumpleto ‘yong buong 300,000,” he added.
The senator said that CHEd extended its deadline for TES applications to October 30 after only receiving some 174,000 applications.
The original deadline for schools to submit applications was on September 30, he noted.
Earlier, CHEd officer-in-charge Prospero de Vera III lamented the cut in the budget for the Tulong Dunong program from P4.9 billion to P1.7 billion. He said some 350,000 tertiary students receiving stipend from Tulong Dunong might lose their scholarship lifeline next year.
De Vera expressed doubt that those affected by the budget cut in Tulong Dunong, which provides P6,000 to P12,000 in assistance, could be accommodated under the TES, which offers a P40,000 scholarship grant.
As it turned out, the CHEd has been able to fill up only 174,000 of the 300,000 slots set for TES.
To address the shortfall, Gatchalian called on schools to intensify their information drive on the qualifications, requirements, and benefits of the TES so that more students would apply.
“Baka naman walang nag-aapply dahil hindi alam ng mga estudyante na qualified pala sila para sa programang ito o hindi nila alam ang mga benepisyong makukuha nila rito,” the senator said.
“Sa ngayon kasi napaka-kaunti pa lang ng nag-aapply considering na ‘yong sa 4Ps lang, 1.2 million na agad ang qualified na mag-apply,” he added.
The TES, Gatchalian explained, is designed to support the cost of tertiary education by providing allowances for books, transportation, boarding, and supplies, among others. /cbb
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