Aside from pursuing their studies, Vice Gov. Agnes A. Magpale also wants to expose the Paglaum scholars in a leadership training camp.
“My fearless forecast is that the next governor of the Province of Cebu might come from this batch of Paglaum scholars,” Magpale said jokingly in a ceremonial distribution of certificate of guarantee to the third batch of scholars at the Capitol Social Hall last July 9.
The third batch is the largest, with 679 scholars since the program started in 2016.
Magpale said she would organize a leadership training camp, grouped by congressional district, participated by all Paglaum scholars including those from the first batch.
“This leadership training is to guide you and we want to see you through,” Magpale added.
Paglaum scholars can avail themselves of P7,500 allowance per semester and those enrolled in private institutions can receive a maximum of P10,000 tuition subsidy per semester; hence beneficiaries may enjoy a scholarship grant of up to P17,500 per semester.
For friends Shailyn Mie Caballero, 18; Mary Grace Besin, 19; and Ronalen Aventurado, 18, who all came from Badian town, southwest of Cebu, being a Paglaum scholar opens the doors so they can lift their families from poverty.
As a daughter of a pedicab driver, Aventurado, who pursues criminology course at the University of Cebu main campus, said that the scholarship is her ticket in achieving her dream of becoming a police officer.
“Since I was a kid, I always wanted to become a police officer. I don’t see this as a job solely for men, and I believe that women can be police officers too. Thanks to Paglaum, I can now achieve my dream,” Aventurado said.
Meanwhile, Gov. Hilario P. Davide III is pushing for the program’s budget increase.
“We added another P10 million. Hopefully (ma-add) ni sa atong supplemental budget by September or October this year,” Davide said.
With an initial budget of P1 million in 2016, the program has increased its budget to P10 million in the following years. The scholarship program was also initially intended for only 10 grantees per district or a total of 70 for the whole province.
In order to accommodate more applicants, Paglaum applications for the school year 2019-2020 will be opened this August.