CHED: No new scholarships to be granted this year due to budget constraints
MANILA, Philippines — There will be no merit scholarships that the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will be granting this school year because of budget constraints in relation to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the commission head said Thursday.
CHED chairman Prospero de Vera III, during the Senate Committee of the Whole hearing, said that this was the decision because a portion of the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act (UniFAST) fund, which was previously intended for later released, will not be released anymore.
“So we are giving out a notice that we will not be able to give merit scholarships for this school year,” De Vera said.
De Vera, however, said that the commission has yet to determine how many beneficiaries will be affected.
The remaining fund, meanwhile, will be allotted for continuing scholars, De Vera added.
“Kasi kung tatanggap kami ng bago tapos hindi mabibigyan yung continuing, mas kawawa sila,” the Ched chairperson said as reason. “At least wag na lang tatanggap ng mga bagong scholar.”
(If we would accept new scholars, then we will not give any fund to current scholars, then they will be more of pity. At least we won’t be accepting new scholars instead.)
Previously, the CHED chairman disclosed that a directive from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which ordered agencies to tighten their belts due to the crisis, would affect the implementation of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.
This would mean that state universities and colleges would be forced to collect tuition fees.
However, the DBM later decided to exempt funds for RA 10931 from among the appropriations that would not be released.
The COVID-19 crisis has also affected the opening of classes, with the commission saying that those Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) who practice “flexible learning” — which digital and non-digital technology and does not necessarily require connectivity — may open classes in August.
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