March 2, 2024

Students in Baguio who are qualified under the city government college financial assistance program will receive higher stipend every semester.

The city council has approved the amendment to the College Education Financial Assistance Grant Program that increased to P10,000 from P6,000 the allowance given to qualified beneficiaries.

Upon the recommendation of the committee on appropriations and finance cluster A, the council approved the allocation of P20 million annually for the program to be included in the budget of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (Cswdo).

In 2020, the program was allotted P10 million.

The steering committee was also reconstituted to include representatives from the city mayor’s office; vice mayor’s office; the council committee chair on social services, women, and the urban poor; the Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; and school representatives.

Under the amended implementing rules and regulations, students enrolled in universities outside Baguio may qualify for the financial assistance provided that they are enrolled in a state university and college and in private higher educational institution that offers courses, which are not available in universities in Baguio.

They should also include the curriculum checklist in their application.

Grantees will receive a maximum number of their assistance based on their curriculum checklist in which those who are enrolled in technical/vocational courses good for seven to 10 months will receive one payout while those enrolled in tech/voc courses good for 11 months to two years will receive two payouts.

Those enrolled in a four-year course will have a maximum of eight payouts and those taking a five-year course will get a maximum of 10 payouts and 12 payouts for students enrolled in a six-year course.

Scholars who want to shift to other courses will continue enjoying the benefit provided they submit a certification that 80 percent of their subjects are credited.

They should also undergo counseling with a social worker.

Grantees who fail to meet the requirements without updating the city government for two semesters will be dropped from the program.

Those who incurred failing grades may be retained in the following semester provided they only failed a maximum of two subjects and will pay at their own expense should they decide to enroll for the short term.

Students who incurred failing grades in the succeeding semester will no longer qualify for the financial assistance.

Those who are having their on-the-job training and having their research subjects can still claim their financial assistance if they incur an incomplete grade, provided that they pass those subjects at the end of the school year.

The financial assistance program is meant to help underprivileged but deserving students who are residents of Baguio. – Jane B. Cadalig