CHED halts scholarship program for incoming freshmen

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) office. (Commission on Higher Education/Facebook)
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) office. (Commission on Higher Education/Facebook)

Chairman Prospero de Vera III announced, in a memorandum dated February 21, that Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will be temporarily suspending applications for scholarships from incoming freshmen in the Academic Year 2022-2023.

The memorandum, which was released to the public on Thursday, March 3, cites budget inadequacy in the 2022 fiscal year budget allotted to CHED for Student Financial Assistance Programs (StuFAPs) as reason for the temporary suspension for the CHED Scholarship Program (CSP).

According to CHED’s Memorandum Order No. 08, series of 2019, the CSP is accessible to qualified and deserving students, with preference to ‘special group of persons’ of people such as the underprivileged and the homeless, persons with disabilities (PWDs), solo parents and their dependents, senior citizens, and indigenous people.

Under the CSP, students with full scholarships are entitled to an annual financial support amounting to P120,000 to private colleges and universities and P80,000 to public ones.

Budget cuts

The temporary suspension of the CSP was one of the repercussions of budget cuts faced by the commission. Although the education sector increased its budget from 2021 by 5% amounting to 788.5-billion, the P31.6-million budget of CHED is P18.8-billion lower than the P50.5-billion budget it received last year.

During the congressional budget hearing deliberations last year, de Vera asked lawmakers to restore its initial budget request of P62.3 billion.

CHED’s 2021 budget allowed the commission to give eligible state university and college applicants annual stipends under full and half scholarships.

Basti Evangelista is a news and opinion writer who focuses on Philippine national politics and sectoral issues. His personal advocacy includes press freedom and social justice. The views expressed are his own.

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