A total of 8,136 beneficiaries of Iskolar ng Bataan program have started receiving their stipend from the provincial government.
“The ‘cash refund’ or stipend distribution is being done in 12 days instead of the usual 6 days to minimize the volume of beneficiaries going to the venue to ensure everyone’s safety against COVID-19”, said scholarship program adviser Vice Governor Cris Garcia who personally oversees the activity.
Before becoming vice governor in 2017, she was the original provincial coordinator of the “monumental” scholarship program.
“We have made the necessary measures to strictly observe the health protocols like the setting up of transparent plastic separation for our staff and beneficiaries and putting social distancing floor decals for the queuing scholars”, she said.
“Of course, scholars cannot enter the venue without wearing facemask and face shield, and we assigned watchmen to ensure social distancing is observed at all times”, Garcia also said.
“We also do not allow those who are wearing sando, shorts and slippers”, she added.
Garcia also announced that they are already in the process of shifting the allowance distribution from face-to-face to online.
She said each beneficiary from the province receives P5,000 per semester. However, those from Balanga City get P7,000 each per semester, and those from Morong get P6,000 per semester.
The top 30 scholars per municipality are also rewarded P5,000 each. In addition, the top scholar in each town also receives P5,000 and the overall topnotcher in the province gets another P5,000.
Garcia is putting premium on education as visibly manifested in ordinances and resolutions adopted by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan through her leadership supporting education development in the province.
Iskolar ng Bataan was launched in 2004 by the late governor Tet Garcia and the current Gov. Abet Garcia, then 2nd district congressman. Ever since, it has helped thousands of college students from the province.
Iskolar ng Bataan is considered as one of the most successful scholarship programs in the country, and has been for years subject of benchmarking of other local government units.