SouthCot LGU allots P28M for scholarship program

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 7 June) – The provincial government of South Cotabato has allocated around P28 million for the implementation of its flagship Kabugwason Paglaum Scholarship Program (KPSP) in school year 2016-2017.

John Earl Wendell Lope, KPSP executive director, said the funds will be utilized for the tuition and miscellaneous fees as well as allowances of around 500 scholars that will be catered by the program this year.

He said they have enlisted a total of 136 new scholars for this school year or batch 12 of its bachelor’s degree program.

Two prospective scholars for law and another two for the medicine postgraduate programs are undergoing the assessment process, he said.

“Around P25 million of our funding was earmarked for the bachelor’s degree program and P3 million for the postgraduate program,” he told MindaNews.

He said the program received the same funding from provincial government in the previous school year.

Lope said the KPSP presently caters to 370 continuing scholars that are mostly enrolled in state colleges and universities.

Four of these are taking law degrees at the Mindanao State University-General Santos and the Sultan Kudarat State University in Tacurong City while two are enrolled at the College of Medicine of the West Visayas State University in Iloilo City.

The official said they already conducted the orientation and signing of the memorandums of agreement with the 136 new scholars.

But Lope said the students will only complete their entry into the scholarship program following their enrolment in their chosen colleges and universities.

Some schools will be starting classes this month while others, especially the state colleges and universities, will begin in August, he said.

In terms of scholarship benefits, Lope said the scholars will receive the same funding for their tuition and other related fees.

But he said the KPSP’s scholarship committee, which is represented by various sectors, approved increases of P500 to P700 in the allowances of the scholars.

The program provides allowances of P800 to P3,000 per semester, depending on the scholarship or program category, he said.

“The allowances were originally set six years ago and we deemed it necessary to adjust them to complement with the rising costs of basic school requirements,” Lope added.

The KPSP, which was launched 12 years ago, mainly caters to “poor but deserving students” from the province’s 10 towns and lone city.

The program has opened degree scholarship slots for residents who have given honor to the province.

These are students who have obtained major awards or emerged as champion in any national or international competition.

Slots are also available for persons with disabilities or the differently-abled and those who are members of the indigenous peoples.