Queries of parents and students started to upsurge as rumors regarding stricter requirement in Iskolar ng Bataan will be implement this second semester to maximize the budget of the provincial government in terms of scholarship while PDAF in on hold.
“Since nate-televise naman sa TV “yung balita about sa anomaly sa PDAF, as a schor nagging aware din kami in a way nab aka magkaroon ng tanggalan na scholar mag-set sila ng mas mataas na garde requirement para magpatuloy ‘yung support nila sa’ming mga beneficiaries nila,” said a concerned recipient of Iskolar ng Bataan.
However, Ma Critina M. Garcia, Head committee of Iskolar ng Bataan, strongly opposed the rumors that Iskolar ng Bataan will be setting a higher grade requirement. Rumors said that from the usual 2.50, they will allegedly set it to a General Weighted Average (GWA) of 2.0, due to frozen budget of PDAF.
“Hindi totoo ‘yon, 2.50 parin.
[required GWA], I don’t know where it’s coming from, saan nanggagaling ‘yon e wala naman kaming ina-advice, they’ll find out on November 4 na it’s still the same,” exclaimed Garcia.
Amid setbacks on national arena regarding PDAF, Garcia stressed that students beneficiaries under the program of Iskolar ng Bataan, which hold the most number of scholars in the university [3,387 scholars], did not have a problem as regard the release of their credit advice for the scholarship grants even before the pork barrel scam spilled out.
Meanwhile, Iskolar ng Bataan which is mainly subsidized from the PDAF of Bataan’s Second District Representative Enrique ‘Tet’ Garcia Jr and from the provincial government fund, is currently on its transaction in paying the credit advice received by the university.
“Actually simula nung na-freeze ‘yon, wala na kaming natatanggap para sa scholarship ng PDAF galling sa congress. Pero just the same may budget pa tayo sa probinsiya kasi calendar year ang probinsiya. ‘Yung mga first sem naman na naniningil sa’min, nababayaran na ‘yon, napaprocess na ‘yon,” explained Garcia.
The committee of Iskolar ng Bataan, on the other hand, is doing necessary actions through collaborative efforts of Provincial Gov. Albert “Abet” Garcia, Cong. Garcia and City of Balanga Mayor Joet Garcia, to sustain the needs of scholars as the issue on pork barrel remains unsettled.
“Malaking tulong ‘yung educational assistance na nabibigay nila sa’ming mga scholars, lalo sa mga medyo kapos sa buhay, lalo ‘yung Php3000 kada semester, napaka-laking bagay na ‘yun,” the scholar added.
“Bakit tatanggalin e maganda naman? Kasi PDAF itself is not bad. It’s a fund for everybody. Kung saan ilalagay ng congressman ‘yung pondo niya, pero ang nangyayari kahit na ‘yung mga walang kasalanan nadadamay, which is unfair. Bakit kailangan madamay ang buong Sistema?” she contested.
As of press time, the house of representatives is reiterating their motion for reconsideration to unfreeze their pork barrel funds as the needs of their respective constituents in medical and educational assistance continue to loiter.
Affected scholars of KFI
“Almost 80 percent nang iniisip naming problema ay galling sa pagkakahold ng scholarship. Imagine, enrolment na ng second sem pero meron pa kong balance ng first sem. ‘Yung scholarship kasi ‘yung inaasahan ng pamilya naming pagdating sa tuition,” one of the scholar of Kinatawan Foundation Incorporated (KFI) said.
Bataan First District Representative Herminia Roman allots funds for the scholarship program of KFI from her PDAF, but since the pork barrel funds of lawmakers were held by the Supreme Court, the scholarship allowance for its 788 scholars under the foundation is also on hold.
“Malaking-malaki ‘yung impact nito [hold of PDAF] sa pamilya naming lalo’t ‘di naman kayang mahagilap ‘yung five thousand pesos, sa pagkain lang kasya ‘yung kita ng tatay naming. Siguro kung hindi na talaga maibibigay ‘yung sa scholarship kapit na lang sa patalim, mangungutang kung kani-kanino. Sumasama na lang nga ako sa palengke para magtinda at maka-ipon kahit kaunti para sa tuition,” the KFI scholar added.
In consideration to the students to cope with this prevalence, University President Dr. Delfin O. Magpantay mandated the Cashier’s Office to release a temporary clearance to the affected students for them to process their enrolment in the second semester.
“Ang university president natin meron na siyang go signal sa cashier’s office na bigyan ng clearance ‘yung mga bata kahit na may balance pa sila, tapos mgbayad ng kaya nila para at least makapagpatuloy pa din hoping na sana dumating o ma-release ‘yung fund para sa kanila. Ngayon kung sakali mang hindi dumating ‘yun hindi rin naman ganun ka-cruel ‘yung university para pag-stoppin sila, siguro in staggard payment,” said Lorena G. Zapanta, university guidance coordinator III.
Pork Barrel Reform
Meanwhile, as the abolition of pork barrel is ongoing, a new system proposed by President Benigno C. Aquino III is expected to take place in 2014 wherein certain parameters will be established.
According to Ma. Cristina Garcia, with the new system, students could still acquire a scholarship but the process will change and will definitely be a long procedure. Instead of directly receiving a scholarship from the PDAF for scholarship from the PDAF for scholarship programs, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will transact with the Commission on Higher Education.
“Ang worry ko (with the new system) baka mainip ‘yung mga school, na because of this new system or procedure na ipapa-implement ng DBM or COA [Commission on Audit], madi-delay in terms of payment of the corresponding scholarships for each school,” she expressed
Source: BPSU Main Campus “The Guilds”