May 24, 2024

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Students of Benguet who are facing financial challenges are given the opportunity to pursue their education through various scholarship programs of the government.   

Close to 1,000 Benguet students who are new grantees of the Tulong Dunong Program of the Commission on Higher Education were oriented and received their notice of award during the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair in Benguet last month.

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, CHED Chairperson Prospero de Vera, Benguet Rep. Eric Yap, Gov. Melchor Diclas, La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda, and CHED-Cordillera Director Demetrio P. Anduyan, Jr. led the awarding of the scholarship during the ISIP program at the La Trinidad municipal gym.

The Tulong Dunong Program is a grant-in-aid initiative that provides financial assistance to qualified beneficiaries, offering either P15,000 per academic year or P7,500 per semester to pursue their college degree. This is under the Integrated Scholarship and Incentives Program (ISIP) for Youth.

An initiative of the House of Representatives, the ISIP is an integrated scholarship and incentives program that aims to bridge the financial gap for deserving students in high school, Alternative Learning System, tertiary level, and technical-vocational education in pursuing quality education.

Aside from CHED, ISIP is a convergence project with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Labor and Employment, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

ISIP beneficiaries in Benguet received P2,000 financial aid during the event. The assistance came from the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations program of the DSWD to cover tuition and other expenses.

Under the ISIP program, student beneficiaries are given priority slots in Government Internship Program of DOLE after graduation.

Unemployed parents or guardians of ISIP beneficiaries may also be accommodated in DOLE’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/ Displaced Workers program.   

Meanwhile, Romualdez with CHED officials also led the ceremonial turnover of grants for beneficiaries of the Student Monetary Assistance for Recovery and Transition (Smart) Program and Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) program.

The Smart Grant program is a one-time fixed grant of P25,000 for qualified students enrolled in any undergraduate program for the 2023-2024 academic year only.

It is one of the strategies under the National Employment Recovery Strategy, aimed at increasing the success of students in graduating through scholarships amidst the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The TES program, on the other hand, provides financial assistance to beneficiaries enrolled in CHED-recognized higher education institutions and programs worth P20,000 to P40,000 per academic year in public higher education institutions, and P20,000 to P60,000 per academic year in private HEIs.

De Vera urged all the grantees to strive for excellence in their studies and be beacons of hope for their families. – Redjie Melvic Cawis with Venus Caguioa and Johan Galati