IP SCHOLARS. Two high school students from an Indigenous Peoples’ community in Negros Occidental show the educational assistance of PHP7,500 they each received from the provincial government during the distribution rites held in Don Salvador Benedicto town on Wednesday (Aug. 31, 2022). Through the Educational Assistance for Indigenous Peoples’ Basic Education Scholarship Program, the province supports IP children to finish basic education so they could proceed to college. (Photo courtesy of PIO Negros Occidental)

BACOLOD CITY – A total of 350 elementary and high school students belonging to various Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities in Negros Occidental, have received PHP2.62 million in educational assistance from the provincial government.

The students are beneficiaries of the province’s Educational Assistance for Indigenous Peoples’ Basic Education Scholarship Program, a bridging program that supports IP children to finish basic education so they could proceed to college.

Negros Occidental Scholarship Program division head Karen Dinsay said Thursday they aim to provide students from the IP communities with equal opportunity to finish elementary and high school because a college scholarship awaits them.

“Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson says he wants to see these IP scholars become doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants, engineers, and teachers someday,” she added.

Of the 350 student-beneficiaries, 72 are elementary pupils while 278 are high school students, who each received PHP7,500 as their allowance for transportation, school supplies, and school projects for the current school year.

They come from the IP communities in the municipalities of Ilog, Hinobaan, Cauayan, Binalbagan, Isabela, Valladolid, Don Salvador Benedicto, Toboso, Calatrava, and the cities of Kabankalan, Himamaylan, Sagay, Escalante, Cadiz, and San Carlos.

On Wednesday, the last leg of the distribution of the educational assistance was led by 1st District Board Members Araceli Somosa and Rommel Debulgado at the Bagong Silang Covered Court in Don Salvador Benedicto.

In an earlier statement, Lacson said the provincial government supports the IPs’ endeavors and wants to provide their children with the opportunity to finish their studies.

“IP students also excel given the right opportunity and support for their studies,” he added. (PNA)