Romulo files bills for pork scholars

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Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo addresses the general assembly of the Philippine Association of Private Schools, College and Universities (Papscu) in Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan on Monday.   Photo By Mike De Juan

Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo addresses the general assembly of the Philippine Association of Private Schools, College and Universities (Papscu) in Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan on Monday.
Photo By Mike De Juan

AS thousands of college students stand to their scholarships because of the recent Supreme Court ruling that the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the pork barrel fund of lawmakers is unconstitutional, Rep. Roman Romulo of Pasig City filed two measures that aim to help students find other sources of fund so that they can finish their studies.

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Romulo, House committee chair on education, said the Unifast Bill and the Voluntary Students Loan Bill which he filed in Congress will allow students to avail themselves of financial assistance from public and private funds.

The Unifast Bill, whose funding will come from the national government, will provide scholarships and grants-in-aid loans for the students.

“This measure is very helpful because most of our students cannot continue their studies because they lack financial resources,” Romulo said in his keynote speech during the general assembly of the Philippine Association of private Schools, College and Universities (Papscu) at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City.

Under the voluntary student loan program, the government will give tax incentives to private banks and financial institutions who will lend money to the students.

“With this, we encourage private banks and financial institutions to lend money to the students as a college loan. We will give them tax breaks provided that they will lend money to the students,” Romulo.

“Aside from the public funding, they [scholars]can also apply for loan from the private sector as well. Secondly, the participating private banks will make sure that these students can finish their studies simply because they have borrowed their tuition from them,” he explained.

Romulo said it is up to the participating private banks to set the requirements for student borrowers.

For his part, Papscu President Dr. Jose Paulo Campos said the student financing is an important component of the educational system since a large portion of the population is poor.

“Student financing is a critical component in making our educational system more dynamic because, right now, all support is channeled through government educational institutions in the form of reduced tuitions. So in effect, we had tie grant.

If you want to get government support you have to go into one of the state universities and colleges or a local government school,” Campos said.

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2 Comments

  1. We should look for the Student Loan Program of the USA as a model. It has been successfully been used by a big percentage of the student population and there is less bureaucracy involved.

  2. While I appreciate Rep. Romulo’s concern of providing funding for the scholarships to poor but deserving students I am also very apprehensive about Romulo’s motivation and intentions of why he is filing this scholarship bill. It is to be noted that there are not few lawmakers who are wanting to keep their Pork Barrel allocations simply because they have SCHOLARS TO FUND as alleged by them. There is this lady congress-woman (Lani Mercado-Revilla) who has vehemently voiced out against the scrapping of Pork because according to her she has some scholars being funded with her Pork. Is that so? Is providing scholarships to poor youth the job of senators and congress-men, and not of executive dept particularly the Dept. of Education? Did these lawmakers run for public office in order to provide FUND to poor and deserving students? I don’t think so! I am inclined to suspect that these congressmen and senators who actually do not want to FOREGO this delicious Pork which is very ‘addicting’ because it is from this ‘setup’ that they can tinker and touch the COOKIE JAR. It is from opportunity that they can do some HOCUS FOCUS and do some MAGIC that can make ‘cookies’ disappear! The COA (Commission on Audit) is not up to the task of accounting and auditing government business transactions simply because COA either does not have enough manpower or simply is not doing its mandated job. Public officers are subject to ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPA-RENCY. But who’s gonna order these sanamagans sanamabits to be accountable and transparent if COA itself wakes up only in the morning? Or no whistle-blower in the likes of Benhur Luy will come forward? Also, the justice system in our country is very very slow, and normally favors those who are already rich and powerful. These are the very reasons why politicians especially these senators and congressmen in the Philippines are always trying very hard to handle public fund! And, are they really respecting and acknowledging that PUBLIC OFFICE IS A PUBLIC TRUST???