LAOAG CITY – Governor Imee R. Marcos through the Ilocos Norte Youth Office (INYO, formerly Sirib Youth Office) and the Provincial Education Department (PED) distributed stipends to 1,103 Sirib scholars at the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU)-Batac campus covered court last Saturday, March 19.
This year, the program which offers three types of scholarships – the Sirib Academic Scholarship, Sirib Young Leadership Scholarship, and Sirib Community Leadership Scholarship – yielded a total of 21 graduates with Latin honors: 20 cum laude and one magna cum laude, Marck Anthony J. Ranga, an accountancy student at MMSU who ranked No. 2 in the university’s graduating class.
Aside from maintaining a certain general weighted average, Sirib scholars exemplify youth involvement, as beneficiaries are required to serve 50 hours of community service per semester. Many are members of the Sirib Ilokano Kabataan Association (SIKA), an organization of youth volunteers who assist the provincial government of Ilocos Norte in delivering its services.
“It’s been a real blockbuster year for Ilocos Norte, at haping-hapi ako na lahat ay nagkamit ng maraming award,” Marcos said, noting that a lot of awardees during the Sirib Youth Awards 2016 last February were provincial government scholars.
Last September, Galing Pook Award, an annual, nationwide search for the best local governance programs spearheaded by the Department of Local and Interior Governance (DILG), was conferred to the Sirib Express, PGIN’s flagship program for the youth and the earliest version of INYO, an official Capitol youth department.
“… Tuwang-tuwa ako, hindi lang Galing Pook, kundi ‘Galing Kabataan’—nalaing a talaga (magaling talaga). So, thank you very much,” Marcos said.
“Hindi kami nangangako na lahat kakayanin, pero lahat tayo, sabay-sabay, nagkakaisa… gagawan natin ng paraan na makakapagtapos ang bawat matalino, masipag, magaling na estudyante dito sa Ilocos Norte,” Marcos said.
Also present during the distribution of stipends was Provincial Sports and Youth Affairs Coordinator Matthew M. Manotoc, the governor’s son.
PGIN has shouldered over 3,000 college scholarships in a bid to empower the youth and human capital of Ilocos Norte, that resulted in the increase of the provincial employment rate from 3% to 50.78% in early 2016.
Gov. Marcos told the scholars, “The future is in your hands, and in your good hands, the future is safe, secure, and progressive. (With report by Mizpah Grace G. Castro, PGIN-CMO)