Issue of July 9, 2017
     
NEWS
Benguet
Kalinga
Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 

2017
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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Benguet dad pushes for study now, pay later for Med students
by Ofelia C. Empian

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Benguet is tackling proposed ordinance aiming to provide a study now, pay later scheme for medical students in the province.

The proposed ordinance authored by Board Member Juan Nazarro, Jr., is anchored on the Local Government Code and Republic Act 8545 or the “Expanded Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE).”

“The province of Benguet is concerned about the different health problems and the lack of medical practitioners coming from the province due to a common reason which is the lack of financial capacity to pursue the study of Doctor of Medicine,” Nazarro said.

He said the study now pay, later program would also include other courses not commonly enrolled by students but needed in the province. A “Study Now, Pay Later” committee will determine these courses.

The screening committee shall be chaired by the governor with members from the Provincial Health Office, Liga ng mga Barangay, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, and representatives from the private schools in Benguet among others. 

Student grantees qualified must be a Filipino citizen and born and a residence since birth of the province of Benguet as certified by the punong barangay where they reside.

The applicant must also be of good moral character and attended and completed their primary and secondary schooling in the province or in Baguio City. The grantees and their parents must also be a registered voter in the province and must have voted in the last national elections.

Other requirements are that they should have finished any related four-year course; should have passed the National Medical Admission Test, and must be enrolled in any medical school in Luzon.

The ordinance shall provide one grantee per year and per municipality under the general fund of each year.

The provisions of the ordinance shall be in consonance with RA 8545 where students under the SNPLP shall pay the loan granted, two years after the student has acquired employment.

“However that interest at the rate of not more than six percent per annum shall accrue to the balance thereof,” it stated.

“If he/she has not acquired gainful employment, then the period of two years does not even begin to run,” the proposed ordinance stated.

The ordinance is now in its third and final reading.


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