GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 20 Nov) – Aspiring lawyers and doctors in South Cotabato province could avail of scholarship grants starting next year through the provincial government’s flagship Kabugwason-Paglaum Scholarship Program (KPSP).
John Earl Wendell Lope, South Cotabato-KPSP head, said the move was based on the recent approval by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan or provincial board of the amendments to the KPSP ordinance.
He said the amendment, which was personally endorsed by South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes, mainly expanded the coverage of the KPSP to post-graduate degrees like Bachelor of Laws and Doctor of Medicine starting 2015.
“The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the new scholarship programs was already approved by the governor so we will start its implementation starting next school year,” he said in a statement released by the South Cotabato Information Office.
The IRR was drafted by the KPSP office in coordination with the provincial scholarship committee, which is composed of representatives from various sectors.
Lope said they will open early next year the acceptance of applications for the new scholarship program.
As set by the provincial scholarship committee, he said they will initially prioritize applications from KPSP scholars who have graduated and those who will graduate this school year from courses that qualify as preparatory or pre-requisite to law and medicine degrees.
“We want to give priority to the KPSP scholars as they are already part of the program and we have already invested in them. As long as we can see their genuine interest and they remain qualified, then we will support them in proceeding to post-graduate studies,” he said.
But Lope clarified that non-KPSP scholars are still welcome to apply for the program as long as they fit the scholarship qualifications or requirements.
A program briefer said a prospective post-graduate scholarship applicant must be from an indigent family with an annual gross income of not more than P120,000 or from a family whose annual gross income is between P120,000 to P200,000.
Priority will be given to applicants who have given prestige and/or recognition to the province of South Cotabato by garnering the highest award in any national or international competition.
Scholarship slots will be allotted for differently-abled or handicapped persons and those from local indigenous tribes, provided they demonstrate potential and genuine interest to proceed to Bachelor of Laws or Doctor of Medicine degrees.
It added that scholarship grantees would only be allowed to enroll in state colleges and universities anywhere in the country.
Lope said that the scholars will receive a grant of P37,500 per semester to cover for their tuition and other school fees.