• SAF men’s kin assured of college education

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    FAMILY members of the 44 elite police commandos who were killed in a bloody encounter with Muslim rebels last month can enrol not only in state-run colleges and universities but also in private institutions, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) said on Thursday.

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    CHEd Executive Director Julito Vitriolo told The Manila Times that the commission in coordination with higher education institutions will see to it that relatives of the slain police commandos will be able to finish their education.

    “CHEd Chairperson Patricia Licuanan has made a commitment to the bereaved families with currently enrolled children in college that the government will support them until they finish,” Vitriolo said.

    “They [qualified dependents]can also enrol in private schools as long as they receive financial assistance from us [CHEd] and they will be covered with benefits [including]tuition,” the CHEd official added.

    The commission, he said, will support the college-age siblings of some of the members of the 44 commandos through its Student Financial Assistance Program (Stufaps).

    Vitriolo added that the commission will provide financial assistance to qualified dependents who are eligible to go to college under its ‘Tulong Dunong’ or Grants-in-Aid with benefits up to P12,000 a year in priority programs.

    “For incoming college students who graduate with high grades, they will be encouraged to apply for CHEd scholarship programs, if not, they will automatically be assisted through Tulong Dunong,” he explained.

    CHEd earlier said it will push the policy on enrolment in the priority courses needed for “national development.”

    Under CHEd Memorandum Order 1, Series of 2014, some courses will be made a priority within the next five years where qualified beneficiaries of CHEd’s Stufap shall be directed to enrol in.

    The CHEd priority courses are information technology, agriculture, teacher education, science and math, engineering, health sciences, business administration, architecture, arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, maritime and communication.

    To qualify for the scholarship, the applicant must be a high school graduate and must also show proof that his or her family’s annual income does not exceed P300,000 a year.

    The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) earlier said it will offer scholarships to any qualified dependents of troops under the government’s social services program for the families of soldiers and police personnel killed in action.

    Tesda chief Joel Villanueva noted that the wounded SAF commandos and their dependents could also avail of the scholarships.

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