DAVAO CITY, Philippines—An official from the Commission on Higher Education on Tuesday said a return service agreement for medical students enrolled in identified state universities and colleges across the country is now being drafted with UP Manila College of Medicine as the model.
CHED Commissioner Prospero de Vera said that a technical working group was tasked to draft the return service agreement. The agreement, he said, was intended for the other six state universities and colleges.
“We need to work with the Department of Health to make sure that the transition of the students from medical school to their residency program is fast so that they’ll be accepted in government hospitals and work with local government units. So that those who want to serve at the local government hospitals, we can also facilitate their return service agreement,” de Vera saidon Tuesday’s press briefing at the Malacañang.
He pointed out that CHED did not impose income requirements for medical students as long as they are enrolled in any medical school.
“You have to apply for it because there’s a return service agreement, meaning you don’t want to do return service then don’t avail of the tuition assistance coming from government,” de Vera, also an adviser of the Philippine Negotiating Panel with the National Democratic Front.
Aspiring medical students could apply in eight state universities and colleges recognized by CHED. These are
Mariano Marcos State University in Ilocos Norte; University of Northern Philippines in Ilocos Sur; Cagayan State University in Region II; Bicol University in Region V; UP College of Medicine in Metro Manila; West Visayas State University in Iloilo; MSU in Iligan and Tawi-Tawi; and the UP School of Health Sciences in Leyte.
“We are expecting about 2,000 students currently enrolled in these medical programs as students who can avail of the program. Now, the last announcement is that the other day, we also signed the implementing rules and regulations to provide an additional P5,000 financial assistance to public and private students enrolled in Yolanda affected areas,” the CHED spokesperson said.
He clarified that the P5,000 financial assistance was actually a one-time assistance sourced from the 2016 Yolanda fund because “there is no Yolanda fund in the 2017 General Appropriations Act.”
“The students can use it to pay for their miscellaneous fees, you know, to pay for their books, et cetera. It’s a one-time cash assistance long overdue because this is Yolanda-related but we’re making sure we are able to expedite the release,” he noted.
De Vera further explained that the P540 million appropriation was residual money coming from Yolanda funds that were not utilized in 2016.
“The Office of the President instructed CHED to expedite the use of this money. So we are ready to… We are sending notices to all the public and private universities in Yolanda- affected areas that the money will be available to them,” he said.
“So this will be disbursed by the universities to students as financial assistance starting this month as soon as the necessary paperwork is done with the state universities and colleges,” he added. (davaotoday.com)