Solon asks colleges, universities to give full scholarship to poor but deserving students

MANILA, (PNA) — A neophyte lawmaker is requiring all colleges and universities to provide scholarship grants for at least 1% of their student population who are poor but deserving students.

Rep. Evelio Leonardia (Lone District, Bacolod City) filed House Bill 2358, which seeks to provide an opportunity to many high school graduates from the low income sector of society to pursue college education.

“There is a need for the government to come to the rescue of these students. It is our responsibility to provide them with good education so as to aid them in becoming productive members of society,” Leonardia said.

Leonardia said as embodied in the Constitution, the State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.

Unfortunately, Leonardia said, many high school graduates from the low income sector of society have no means to pursue college education.

More unfortunate are those who possess above average intelligence and who are intellectually capable and ready to continue with their education but their families have no means to provide them with such opportunity, he added.

“Providing opportunity for qualified but deserving students to pursue college education by virtue of a scholarship grant will be a giant step towards achieving an inclusive growth in the country,” Leonardia stressed.

The measure, to be known as the “Scholarship Grants for Poor but Deserving Students Act of 2013,” shall require all colleges and universities to provide college scholarship grants to at least one percent of their student population.

Students covered by the scholarship grants should possess an academic weighted average of at least 85 percent and whose family has no visible means of income or with an annual income of not more than P60,000. These grants shall cover only free tuition fees.

The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), in consultation with the heads and leaders of duly recognized organizations of colleges and universities, would promulgate the rules and regulations of the Act.