A total of fourteen thousand four hundred twenty-seven (14,427) Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) grantees (100% of the total ongoing TES grantees) in 64 private higher education institutions (PHEIs), 15 state universities and colleges (SUCs) including satellite campuses, and 5 CHED-recognized local universities and colleges (LUCs) in Davao Region are now bound to receive the financial aid for the TES grant of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST). Based on the Memorandum Circular No. 3, series of 2021, issued by the UniFAST Board on June 14, 2021, the CHED Regional Offices may download the TES benefits and disburse the fund to the grantees through the HEIs.

Sa pangkabuuan, lagpas dalawang milyong kabataang Pilipino ang natutulungan ng pamahalaan sa gitna ng COVID-19 na pandemya. All these achievements were made possible by the hard work of all CHED and UNIFAST personnel all over the country,” said CHED and UniFAST Board Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III during the kick-off of CHED’s Founding Anniversary. Together with UniFAST OIC Executive Director Ryan L Estevez, Chairman De Vera ensures the implementation of the very important social legislation of the Duterte administration which is the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTEA) or the Republic Act 10931

“After the 5th Special UniFAST Board Meeting on June 2, 2021, UniFAST and the the CHED Regional Offices are fast-tracking the processing of the payments for its grantees in private HEIs since payments have already started in the public HEIs in March this year. We are committed to do this; thus, we have streamlined our processes to avoid duplicity in giving the TES grants to qualified beneficiaries,” said Executive Director Estevez. According to Atty. Estevez, the CHED CMC No. 3 will provide the CHEDROs and the private HEIs proper guidance in the disbursement of the TES stipends now that it is UniFAST and the CHED Regional Offices are processing the TES billings. In support, CHED RO XI requested HEIs in Davao Region to schedule the date of their distribution to the TES grantees in their respective institutions and to carefully strategize how their releasing will follow the IATF guidelines and protocols.

CHED RO XI also introduced a TES Tracker System that will serve as a monitoring tool for the UniFAST XI Team for them to be updated on the progress of the distribution to the grantees, in real time. The said tracker needs to be constantly updated by the Scholarship Coordinators in Davao Region through filling out an online form consisting of the number of grantees and the amount released. Maricar Dahunan Rubio, 24, a TES grantee from South Philippine Adventist College shared that she was delighted with the news, especially that her school is now processing the date of the release. She added that she is more than thankful and blessed that she could be part of this program given that her family couldn’t really afford her tuition fees.

 “To extend my gratitude, I hope na ang CHED at UniFAST ay hindi magsawa sa pag-extend ng tulong para sa mga estudyanteng katulad ko. I am always praying na ang mga tao behind this program ay marami pang matulungan,” Rubio said. (SGD) MARICAR R. CASQUEJO, Ph.D., CESO III Director IV, CHED RO XI.