LEGAZPI CITY: About 76,000 students will go to college again this year, thanks to the provincial government’s scholarship program.
“By 2016, Albay’s college population is expected to reach 188,000. This will help new graduates get better employment opportunities,” according to Governor Joey Salceda.
To accomplish this feat, however, the provincial government needs to get P50 million from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) on top of its existing P380 million loan.
“After spending P380 million, the next P50 million should be a no-brainer. I apologize to the remaining 5,000 scholars and their schools for the unnecessary anxiety they may have suffered while waiting for their tuition ” Salceda said.
From 34,000 college graduates in 2000, Salceda said that number has increased to 184,000 due to the aggressive funding assistance programs of the provincial government through the Albay Higher Education Contribution Scheme (AHECS).
Unfortunately, AHECS is designed for tertiary education and gets only a P23-billion yearly funding from the government as opposed to P250 billion that is assigned for basic education.
“The provincial government of Albay will renew the AHECS loan agreement with the LBP but only for the remaining P50 million to ensure that the remaining scholars are funded. I have already messaged the bank president to expedite this,” Salceda said.
“Since the government spends P32,000 per student at Bicol University, this will enable scholars to study there for only P5,000 through the AHECS loan,” he explained.
Albay is the only province with an institutionalized education department in the entire Philippines that is approved by Civil Service Commission and the Department of Budget and Management that was created by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Albay.
“By enabling the youth to get a college diploma, we are expanding their horizons and helping them fulfill their ambitions. This is the single biggest legacy we can give them,” Salceda concluded.