• No graduates yet under 4Ps program: CHED

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    The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said on Friday the Students Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (SGP-PA) under the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) has not yet produced any graduate.

    “The SGP-PA was implemented only last year that’s why we don’t have graduates,” Patricia Licuanan, CHED chairperson, said in a text message.

    Licuanan said CHED has provided financial assistance to 4,041 students enrolled in 35 selected state universities and colleges (SUCs) with a budget of P500 million under the Disbursement Acceleration Plan (DAP).

    A student-beneficiary is entitled to a grant of up to P60,000 per school year.

    The beneficiaries come from poor households in the 609 focus municipalities covered under the 4Ps of the of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

    “So far, the SGP-PA is the most innovative and generous scheme of the government to arrest poverty by increasing the number of graduates in higher education among poor households. There is no more excuse for students not to finish their studies,” Licuanan said.

    The graduates are expected to land good paying jobs that will lift their families out of poverty, generate employment and entrepreneurship within their families, among their relatives and in their communities.

    Julito Vitriolo, CHED executive director, earlier said the commission is also supporting 800 former rebels and amnesty grantees through the Bangsamoro and Pamana Special Grants-In-Aid Programs.

    Vitriolo likewise said CHED will increase its support to private colleges and universities under the Expanded Private Education Student Financial Assistance program by allotting P1 billion for more than 32,000 slots for the academic year 2014-2015.

    The allocation is over and above the requested P1 billion or approximately 26, 000 slots for SGP-PA beneficiaries and students in SUCs.

    The DSWD earlier said it is studying expanding the coverage of the educational grant of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program from 14 to 18 years old to give the poor children the chance to finish high school.

    At present, the program only supports children aged 0 to14 or up to second year high school.

    NEIL A. ALCOBER

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