The provincial government of South Cotabato has allocated around PHP12.9 million for the implementation of its scholarship program for elementary and high school or secondary levels in the next school year.

Jerry Gamu, head of the South Cotabato Barangay Affairs Unit (BAU), said Friday a total of 9, 950 scholarship slots in both levels will be opened for application starting this summer in coordination with the province’s barangays.

Of the approved funding, he said some PHP4.975 million was allotted for the elementary scholars and PHP7.96 million for those in high school.

The initiative is part of the provincial government’s flagship Kabugwason-Paglaum Scholarship Program’s (KPSP) grant-in-aid component, with BAU as partner-implementer.

But Gamu said they are currently crafting a proposed provincial ordinance that would separate the elementary and high school scholarship grants from the KPSP, which was mainly created for the tertiary level.

He said they have proposed for the renaming of the initiative as the South Cotabato Educational Assistance Program.

For the upcoming school year 2017-2018, the official said they have set a new application process for the scholarship program.

He said the application forms will be distributed during the scheduled orientations and will only be given to those in attendance.

BAU will no longer provide copies of the application forms to the barangay offices as previously practiced, he said.

“This is to oblige prospective scholars and their parents to attend the orientations to better understand the program and its processes,” he said.

Scholars in the primary level will receive PHP500 in grants to cover for their school fees while those in in the secondary level will get PHP800.

The scholarship slots are only open for students or learners enrolled in public elementary and high schools within the province’s 10 towns and lone city.(PNA) BS/AVE/FKA