MANILA – Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Pena on Monday said he is hoping to increase the agency’s scholars to at least 13,000 in 2020 after a big number of students took the scholarship exam last October.
"Eleven thousand at the least, but hopefully we could open 12,000 to 13,000 slots for SY 2020-2021," he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Monday.
The final figure, he said, would depend on the approved budget for 2020 and the department’s savings.
Dela Pena said the number of examinees has significantly increased from 80,000 last year to 113,000 last October.
He said the examinees are applicants for college freshman scholarships.
The DOST chief noted that the number of scholarship slots grew from 8,000 in 2018 to 9,900 this year.
Dela Pena earlier said providing scholarships has always been among the DOST's priorities to help develop the country's human resources.
The DOST has supported a total of 36,772 scholars in 2018.
He renewed his call for Filipino students to pursue doctorate in science courses and advised them to take advantage of the DOST's scholarship grants. (PNA)