PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan – The provincial government here has announced that it is bankrolling the advanced technical studies of young Palaweños as part of efforts to grow the number of highly skilled workers in the province.
Christian Jay Cojamco, spokesperson for the provincial government, said Wednesday that a group of 48 individuals, aged 18 years to 30 years, represents the first batch of scholars to be sent to a training center in Laguna to take up an electro-mechanics technology course.
Cojamco said the scholarship grants are made possible through the "SPS Alay sa Kabataan - Programang Pang-Edukasyon para sa Palaweño" (SPS Tribute to the Youth - Education Program for Palaweños).
He said funding for the educational program was approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) when it passed Provincial Ordinance 3164-A in May.
Scholarships are made available to those wishing to pursue technical and vocational courses at Technical and Vocational Institutions (TVIs) accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Cojamco said.
On Tuesday, the 48 scholars visited their benefactors – Palawan Governor Dennis Socrates, Provincial Board Member Rafael Ortega, who chairs the basic education committee, and Maria Victoria Baaco, program manager of SPS Alay sa Kabataan.
"Governor Socrates instructed them to excel in their studies as scholars of the Palawan provincial government to ensure they receive a good education and employment that will contribute to the development of their character and abilities," Cojamco said.
Provincial Ordinance 3164-A was authored by Ortega at the request of Socrates.
Cojamco said the SPS Alay sa Kabataan would cover the tuition or training fees, accommodation, and food for the scholars for six months, while the provincial government would pay for their airfares to Manila.
The scholarship program anticipates spending at least PHP100,000 on each scholar for these expenses.
Cojamco added that after six months of study, the scholars would undergo on-the-job training at companies accredited by the training center, where they would be provided with appropriate allowances.
The scholars flew to Manila en route to their Laguna campus on Wednesday. (PNA)