LAOAG CITY – With the passage of Provincial Ordinance No. 049-2018, sponsored by Senior Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) now offers a scholarship for senior high school (SHS) students.
The ordinance, dubbed the Sirib Scholarship Program of the Province of Ilocos Norte, integrates all current scholarship offerings and introduces the SHS scholarship.
It will provide monthly cash assistance to beneficiaries to aid them in expenses outside the classroom such as fare, board and lodging, school supplies, and needs for extracurricular activities.
A total of 596 students have already been screened as beneficiaries, leaving at least 400 slots more for the second semester. Interested applicants may go to the Provincial Education Department (PED), located at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena in Laoag City, before November 26.
As major documentary requirements, students should present proof of a general weight average (GWA) not lower than 85% from the previous semester; barangay certification that they come from a lower-income family; and their birth certificate.
They will then undergo an initial interview to ensure their need for financial assistance; an electronic examination; and a final interview to gauge their leadership and community involvement.
“We want to encourage and motivate our youth to get involved in any organizational activities,” said Mrs. Matilde Nery, PED officer in charge.
She added that while scholars may apply for renewal of their scholarship as long as they maintain the grade requirement, there is a limit in that there may only be one beneficiary of a provincial scholarship in each family.
“Kung sakaling yung isa ay college scholar ng PGIN, the other sibling can no longer avail of another scholarship,” she said.
Beneficiaries will be oriented on the rules and obligations that come with the scholarship, and be required to render a total of 20 hours of school- or barangay-based community service. This will be monitored by the Sirib Ilokano Kabataan Association (SIKA) president of their respective area or by their school principal.
Open to all SHS strands
Initially, the scholarship was proposed to prioritize the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Accountancy, Business and Management (AMB) strands.
However, final deliberation of the Provincial Scholarship Committee (PSC) opened it to students enrolled in any SHS strand to ensure inclusivity.
“May mga eskwela kasi na selected lang ang ino-offer na strand, lalo na yung mga nasa remote areas,” explained Nery.
She added, “It has always been the dream of the Honorable Governor [Imee R. Marcos] to assist students in their schooling. Even before the national order for free tertiary education, iyon na ang iniisip ni Governor, so instead of free college, since nagawa na, nag-expand tayo to accommodate senior high school.
“Education has always been among her top priorities, and we are thankful for that.”
Aside from the new SHS scholarship, PGIN has already been offering technical-vocational, Sirib Academic, Sirib Young Leaders, Sirib Community Leaders, Binibining Ilocos Norte, and Sirib Athletic scholarships. These are handled by the PED together with the Ilocos Norte Youth Development Office (INYDO). (PR – PGIN CMO)