More than 36,000 poor students get a shot at college education

A total of 36,003 poor students are assured of a college education this year through the Expanded Students’ Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) jointly implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC).

The ESGP-PA scholars include new enrollees for school year 2015-2016, and those students who served as pilot grantees of the program which started in school year 2012-2013.

The ESGP-PA provides academic grants for the tertiary education of poor but deserving students belonging to indigent households identified through the Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), giving priority to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries. The students shall be enrolled in state universities and colleges to take up courses which are aligned with government key growth areas.

“After graduating from high school, the government will continue to help deserving students get a chance to achieve the elusive college education they dream of through the ESGP-PA,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.

Under the program, each grantee is entitled to a maximum grant of P60,000 a year or P30,000 per semester to cover tuition fees, miscellaneous fees, and expenses such as transportation, board and lodging, and other related education expenses.

To strengthen the program implementation, a National Steering Committee (NSC) is created to oversee operations and monitoring, with CHED as the chair.

In cases where the allocation for specific schools and regions remains unfilled, a pool of potential grantees is ready for admission and replacement. Furthermore, re-allocation of slots per SUC and per region may also be done based on the need and as assessed by the NSC.

Based on the list provided by CHED, there are 80 ESGP-PA scholars enrolled in various campuses of the University of the Philippines (UP), two of whom recently graduated as valedictorians – David Louie Manansala of Novaliches, and Alyannah Terite of Pasay City. Both will take up civil engineering, with David enrolled in UP Los Baños while Alyannah will begin college life in UP Diliman.

“The ESGP-PA program is pursuant to the commitment of government to poverty alleviation with the aim of breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty. By giving these students the chance to have a college education, we are providing them the opportunity to lift their families out of poverty through better employment when they graduate,” Secretary Soliman added.

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