Press Release
May 4, 2007

Recto: Govt to spend P4.6 B in 07 to send .9 M scholars to school

Government will spend almost P4.6 billion this year to send 900,000 scholars to secondary, tertiary and vocational schools, Sen. Ralph Recto said today.

Total amount will, however, exceed P5 billion, if the cost of the schooling of cadet-officers in military and police schools is included, Recto said.

Recto made the disclosure as he called for a selection process for collegiate slots that would put a premium on competence.

He said funds for vocational programs should be increased to cure the job mismatch which hounds college graduates whose academic degrees do not fit labor market demands.

Recto said the investment in human capital by the government would allow poor but bright students to go as far as their talent and dreams can bring them.

If we want to have a No Child Left Behind program, then education must not be left behind in fund prioritization, Recto said.

For high school students, Congress, in the P1.126 trillion national budget, allocated P3.14 billion to fund the schooling of 785,000 students in private schools under the service contracting and the education voucher schemes, Recto said.

The idea behind these is that it would be more economical on the part of the government to buy seats in existing private schools than build new classrooms and hire teachers, Recto said.

For those who would go to college, a buffet of scholarship programs await them, Recto said, with the biggest, the P515-million scholarship grant managed by the Commission on Higher Education.

Under this program, 40,275 qualified college students will receive a stipend, book allowance and free tuition.

In addition, 10, 598 science scholars taking college technology courses will likewise receive the same emoluments under a P341 million allocation this year that would be managed by the Department of Science and Technology.

This has a high school counterpart in which 3,264 scholars in science high schools led by the flagship Philippine Science High School will get P70 million worth of living and uniform allowances plus stipends.

Technical-vocational scholarship grants, for which P400 million has been allotted this year, will be given to 44,500 interested applicants which will be processed by TESDA, Recto said.

Recto said an affirmative action-type of college grant has been designed for members of national cultural communities.

Administered by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, the program would send to school 16,289 IP youth, he said. (

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