ILOILO CITY – An initial 3,000 indigent students from this city were chosen as beneficiaries of the Integrated Scholarships and Incentives Program (ISIP) for the Youth: Empowering Students through Education and Opportunity, which had its nationwide launch at the West Visayas State University (WVSU) cultural center on Saturday.
ISIP for the Youth is a joint project with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
“We are making history. Congress has chosen Iloilo City to be the venue for the launching of the ISIP for the Youth as a major component of the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair (BPSF) of President Bongbong Marcos,” Iloilo City Lone District Rep. Julienne Baronda said.
Under the program, recipient students are enrolled in CHED's “Tulong Dunong” scholarship program and are eligible for a PHP15,000 annual grant until they graduate.
They will also receive PHP2,000 under the DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations every semester and be included in the list of priorities in the Government’s Internship Program, paving the way for employment opportunities and exposure to guide them toward preferred professional tracks.
Their parents or immediate guardians without jobs may receive assistance through DOLE's Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers, an emergency short-term employment program.
House Speaker Martin Romualdez, who graced the launch, said the program aids deserving learners so they can continue their studies and eventually contribute to the development of the country.
The scholars were enlisted with the help of the offices of Baronda, Uswag Ilonggo Party-list Rep. James Ang, and Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, represented by his daughter Raisa Treñas-Chu.
Denie Villaruz, a sophomore Business Administration student of University of San Agustin, said she is fortunate to be part of the program, especially since she grew up in a solo-parent household.
“I am happy. Our miscellaneous expenses increase, so the reduction in our tuition every semester will have an impact, especially since I was not accepted as a working student,” she said in an interview.
“I am very thankful and blessed because there is something that can alleviate our financial burdens,” Patricia Angela Gallon, a graduating Education student of WVSU, said.
Before launching the ISIP for the Youth, Romualdez joined other members of Congress in opening the two-day BPSF at the Guimbal National High School gymnasium in the morning.
Iloilo is the ninth province to get visited by the government’s caravan of services, with 51 government agencies bringing 160 programs and services worth PHP1 billion to about 90,000 beneficiaries.
“Ito po ang bahagi ng pangako ng ating mahal na Presidente, Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., na pag nahalal nyo sya bilang presidente, ito ang gagawin nya talaga (This is part of the commitment of our beloved President once he gets elected),” Romualdez said.
Other available services are passport application, legal assistance, provision of livelihood assistance, distribution of farm equipment to farmers and fisherfolk, renewal of government licenses, and free medical laboratories.
Romualdez said they hope to visit all 82 provinces for the BPSF.
Since its launch in Biliran in August, the caravan has been to Ilocos Norte, Camarines Sur, Leyte, Laguna, Davao de Oro, Bukidnon, and Isabela. (PNA)