Increase in financial aid for city college students broached
Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan has proposed the increase of the financial assistance granted to qualified college students as provided for in Ordinance 116-2019.
In his proposed amendatory ordinance, the college education financial grant provided by the city government shall be raised from P6,000 every semester per school year to P10,000.
The increase, according to Olowan, is necessary to help students and their families cope with the increasing cost of living and education expenses.
With the proposed raise of the financial grant, P20 million shall be earmarked in the city’s annual budget to adequately fund the existing College Education Financial Assistance Grant Program.
The city council committee on education, culture, and historical research is also tasked to refine the existing implementing guidelines to make the program more accessible and inclusive, subject to the approval of city council and the mayor.
Ordinance 116-2019 which created the city government’s College Education Financial Assistance Grant Program was also authored by Olowan.
The financial assistance is granted to “poor and underprivileged but deserving college students” who are enrolled and excel academically in universities or colleges in the city.
Applications for the grant are submitted to and screened by the Baguio City Scholarship Council composed of the mayor as the chairperson, the vice mayor as the vice chairperson, and all council members, the city budget officer, and the city social welfare and development officer as members.
The proposed amendatory ordinance has been referred to the committee on appropriations and finance cluster A (Budget, Appropriations, and Expenditures) for review.
Based on the record of the City Social Welfare and Development Office, 1,234 students in the city are currently registered with the program. Of the number, 870 are active beneficiaries and are regularly receiving their grants. Among the 364 inactive beneficiaries, some have dropped out or have had failing grades while the rest have yet to receive their grants after complying with all the requirements. – Jordan G. Habbiling