Some 103 students enrolled in the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) here received on Thursday (May 21) their stipends from the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as the whole province copes with the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.
This was after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released on May 15 some PHP3.6 billion to cover the partial payment of TES stipends to students enrolled in 404 public and private higher education institutions for Academic Year 2019-2020.
The TES is a flagship social development program of the CHED which is used by students to pay their tuition and miscellaneous fees and other education expenses.
“The university has coordinated with the local government units (LGUs) in Ilocos Norte so that the grantees can immediately get their stipends following their respective LGU quarantine rules,” said Dr. Elizabeth Marfel Gagni, director of MMSU’s Office for Student Affairs and Services (OSAS), during a simple and systematic distribution of the stipends held at the university’s covered court.
The TES is a government grants-in-aid program that was made possible through the enactment of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, a law that institutionalizes free tuition and exemption from other fees in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs) in the Philippines.
Under the program, cash assistance amounting to PHP60,000 per school year is given to financially needy students in both public and private schools, as well as to those studying in municipalities and cities without public universities.
The CHED released the subsidy funds to TES grantees of the 51 state and local universities and colleges in the country amid the lockdown due to Covid-19.
“I am very much thankful for the amount I received,” said Cecile Joy Luis, 20, of Barangay San Matias in Laoag City and a BS Education student at the MMSU College of Teacher Education (CTE). The amount, she said, “is a big help to me and to my parents who are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)” of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Luis said her family’s PHP4,200 bi-monthly subsidy from the DSWD is not enough for their family since she and her four siblings are currently studying in high school and college.
Meanwhile, MMSU president Shirley Agrupis advised the student-recipients to “use your stipends wisely, especially now that we are implementing the Virtual Learning Environment (MVLE) where students are under the ‘new normal’ on flexible learning system by making use of all available online resources for a virtual education experience”.
She advised them to use part of their stipend to buy a gadget, such as tablet or laptop, so that they can cope with the new normal system of education. (PNA)
Photo Source: Reynaldo E. Andres