The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) will look into possible sources of funding for thousands of the college students who lost their scholarships after the Supreme Court declared the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) unconstitutional.
CHEd Chairperson Patricia Licuanan said the commission will extend assistance to the students whose tuition and other school fees were taken from the funds from their district, or the congressional pork barrel.
“As announced recently by the Supreme Court, the pork barrel fund of legislators has been declared unconstitutional. This has caused concern among students whose PDAF supported grants-in-aid will now cease,” Licuanan said.
A number of lawmakers are concerned about the fate of students receiving financial support from PDAF, whose release has been stopped by the Supreme Court’s temporary restraining order.
The CHEd has appealed to the state universities and colleges to allow pork barrel scholars to enrol in the next semester.
“As early as October, after the Supreme Court released its decision for a temporary restraining order on the release of the PDAF, CHEd issued an appeal to the 111 state universities and colleges to allow PDAF beneficiaries who were enrolled in the first semester of this school year, to enroll in the second semester,” Licuanan said.
“Once CHEd has assessed the resources needed by former PDAF grantees in public and private higher education institutions, the Commission will tap into its Higher Education Development Fund, funds from the General Appropriations Act and possibly from the President’s Social Fund,” she said.
As part of their projects, senators and congressmen appropriate portions of the congressional allocation to state-owned universities or colleges, or even the CHEd.
The scholars do not get a full tuition subsidy from their congressional sponsors but only some form of financial assistance, Licuanan said.
Each of the student only gets P2,000 or P5,000 for every semester, and the amount is even released in tranches.
NEIL A. ALCOBER