It has come to my attention that my statement during the budget briefing yesterday, 09 September, on student financial assistance has been misrepresented and is now being used in social media to confuse students and attack the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

In the budget hearing yesterday, I enumerated the following student financial assistance programs funded under the proposed 2022 National Expenditure Program (NEP):

1. Tertiary Education Subsidy which is given to financially needy students belonging to the DSWD Listahanan 2.0 list, students residing in, and studying in private schools in cities and municipalities with no public universities, and other financially needy students – 403,941 slots amounting to P21,942,169,200;

2. Tulong Dunong for financially needy students with P3.2 billion funding;

3. Merit scholarships for students with high grades, 57,108 slots funded in the amount of P1,451,782,000

4. 994 slots for Scholarship Grant for Dependent Children of Sugarcane Industry Workers and Small Farmers, funded in the amount of P65 million

5. Tabang OFW in the amount of P1 billion for 16,719 slots (As of August 4, 2021, P508,775,972.94 or 50.88% is the utilization rate); 

6. Medical scholarship grants for students in state universities and colleges funded in the amount of P167 million for 3,395 slots. Today, there are 1.6M students studying in more than 200 state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges(LUCs) who are no longer paying tuition and miscellaneous fees; 435,367 students in public and private universities getting TES subsidy; 210,339 Tulong Dunong beneficiaries getting subsidy; 91,260 merit scholars and; 16,719 children of OFW getting subsidy through Tabang OFW

In total, there are more than 2 million students getting financial assistance from the government through CHED. All existing student financial assistance programs under the Duterte administration are funded in the 2022 NEP. I was asked in the budget hearing whether there is financial assistance or “ayuda” for all COVID19-affected students and my answer is no.

This answer has been misrepresented and twisted to mean that there are no funds for all types of student financial assistance in 2022. This is fake news. We assure all our qualified on-going TES and TD beneficiaries that they will continue to get their stipends in 2022. 

There is also funding for new TES and TD applicants, and for merit scholars. We ask everyone to share this correct information. Let us not confuse our student beneficiaries who need government financial assistance during these very difficult times to continue their studies. Let us learn and educate as one. J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA Chairman, CHED and UniFAST Governing Board