Vice Gov. Agnes A. Magpale urged the applicants of the Paglaum Scholarship Program (PSP) to remain focused on their studies inspite of the many challenges they are facing.
Magpale attended the interview of the applicants from Cebu’s third district, or those from the northwest towns of Cebu held yesterday and those from Toledo City and Tuburan town, which has been set today.
The Cebu Provincial Government has allocated P10 million for the annual tertiary scholarship program intended for indigent students, drug surrenderers and victims of abuse.
In her speech last Thursday, Magpale reminded the applicants that it is not bad to be in love but pointed out the need to avoid engaging in pre-marital sex.
“I believe in love. I believe in forever. Go ahead, get inspired, but no to pre-marital sex,” was Magpale’s advice to the more than 170 applicants last Thursday.
The Capitol’s scholarship program was launched in 2016, through an ordinance authored by Magpale, which was adopted and approved in mass motion by the Provincial Board, with an initial budget of P1 million.
In 2017, the Province set aside a budget of P10 million. The program is chaired by Gov. Hilario P. Davide III and co-chaired by Vice Gov. Magpale.
Before the program was conceptualized and was first introduced to the workers of an export zone in Danao City who wish to continue their studies, Magpale had visited and interviewed some residents and communities in the province.
“I noticed altars in houses, naa ang imahen sa Ginoo tupad ana naay diploma. I realized how Cebuanos value education that they put it next to God,” said Magpale.
Applicants who will pass the ongoing evaluation and interview will serve as the third batch of Paglaum scholars. Each scholar will receive P10,000 tuition subsidy if he/she is enrolled in a private institution and P1,500 monthly allowance.
Magpale said the program only requires passing grades, no need to maintain higher grades to continue with the scholarship.
“Nakapa-graduate pa man gani mi og tulo ka cum laude from a bunch of non-honor students last year,” the vice governor told 195 applicants from Toledo and Tuburan earlier today.
One of the applicants said he is hoping to get a scholarship slot despite of his dark past and aims to finish tertiary education.
“Ni try ko og shabu adtong Grade 11 ko,” said eighteen-year-old Jake (not his real name), a drug surrenderer from Asturias town.
Jake decided to stop and submitted himself to the police’s profiling of people who are into drugs dubbed as “Oplan Tokhang” program after President Rodrigo Duterte announced his all-out campaign against illegal drugs. Instead of undergoing a rehabilitation program, he did community service in Asturias until he completed Grade 12.
The only male and third of four siblings, Jake’s father is a construction worker, while his mother is a farmer-housewife. He said he wants to take up industrial technology course, major in automotive at the Cebu Technological University CTU) in the neighboring Tuburan town.
Another applicant, Muslim student Annafizah Bardinas, 28, of Balamban patiently waited for her turn to be interviewed.
Bardinas skipped her meals while waiting for her turn to be interviewed in observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan where they would forego their meals at daytime and eat meals at night. Ramadan will end on June 15, the celebration for Eid Al Fitr.
As a working student, Bardinas works as a cleaner and a cook in a Muslim dormitory. If she gets the PSP scholarship, she will be a second year elementary education student at the University of the Visayas- Toledo. She is the third of five siblings.
A total of 1,313 have applied for the scholarship, but only 500 of them will be accepted.
“Panahon sa akong amahan, way Paglaum scholarship. Mao nang naninguha mi sa Provincial Board nga magtukod niini,” former PB member Sanchez said in an interview. Adding that her father, the late former vice governor Gregorio Sanchez, finished college with only a pair of pants.
The Paglaum Scholarship is in line with the 6-key development agenda of Gov. Davide’s administration, particularly on the prioritization of education in the province.