Cayetano hikes allowance of Taguig scholars; expands coverage of Merit Incentive Program

MANILA(PNA) -- Close to 1,300 students in Taguig City under the Lifeline Assistance for Neighbors In-need (LANI) scholars were already received the added allowances from the city government of Taguig.

For this school year, Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano has increased the allowances of Lifeline Assistance for Neighbors In-need (LANI) scholars, a big morale booster to these adolescents who hit the books ever so frequently. Those availing of Basic, State Universities and Colleges (SUCs)/Local Colleges and Universities (LCUs); and Basic Plus scholarship types will now receive PHP15,000 and PHP20,000, respectively, each set of students receiving a whopping PHP5,000-increase per school year.

We hope that through this, many of them will graduate and finish with flying colors. Because with excellence among our constituents, we may truly think big, dream big not just now but especially in the years to come, the lady mayor said.

She also added that this is her way to encourage TaguigeAos to study and to continue to excel.

A total of 1,293 LANI scholars were the first to experience the upgraded educational assistance after they received their allowance during the first batch of LANI scholarship allowance distribution for this semester at the Taguig City University (TCU) auditorium.

Every semester, the city distributes scholarship allowances to three batches of scholars usually composed of around 13,000 students, under the program, which was pioneered in 2011 with an initial budget of PHP100-million.

The allowance given ranged from PHP15,000 to PHP60,000, depending on what type of scholarship the student has availed of -- Premier, Full, Priority, Basic, SUC/LCU, Basic Plus, Leadership and Educators Advancement and Development (LEAD) or Review.

Cayetano also expanded the coverage of the Merit Incentive Program of the LANI scholarship program by extending it to those in Basic; SUCs/LUCs; and Basic Plus scholarship types. Prior to this, only those under the Full; Premier; and Priority scholarship types enjoy the P5,000 per semester Merit Incentive.

The Merit Incentive Program is for scholars with semestral weighted average (WA) of 1.75 or higher (or its equivalent). Thus, one whose WA is 1.75 or higher every semester gets additional PHP10,000 on top of their allowances. This means that those under these scholarship types can receive as much as PHP25,000 to PHP30,000 every school year depending on their WA.

Additionally, allowances for Taguig graduates who are preparing for their licensure or bar examinations have been increased to PHP20,000 for those taking law, medical, bar and board exams; and PHP15,000 for other professions.

Cayetano also rationalized the allowances being given to those taking up Masteral (MA) or Doctoral (PhD) degrees, and increased the amount being given to those under the Taguig Learners' Certificate (TLC) program. From PHP5,000, each of the 5,000 grantees in 47 private partner schools will now receive PHP10,000 per school year.

The city's scholarship program--which now counts with a PHP625-million fund--requires beneficiaries to have basic qualifications including being a bona fide resident of Taguig for at least three years, being a registered voter of the city if 18 years or older, having at least one parent registered as a voter in the city, and having good moral character.

Around 42,000 scholars are enrolled in various institutions including the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University under the program, which has produced board topnotchers and licensed professionals.

To date, the LANI scholarship program has helped produce 15 board topnotchers, with 2 placing first nationwide in their respective board exams. This year, LANI scholars Engr. Guiseppe Andrew B. Buffe and Engr. Ronald Ian T. Borja ranked first and 10th in the Aeronautical Engineering Licensure Examination and Electrical Engineer Board Examination, respectively.

In December 2015, the city honored around 70 scholars who graduated with flying colors--as summa, magna or cum laude--in their respective universities. By the end of the year, the city will give recognition to at least 90 who graduated with the distinction, and who have so far submitted their application. The number is still bound to go up as the city continues to receive scholar-applicants who have just graduated or will graduate before December 2017.

The city-run Taguig City University (TCU) also continues to offer free college education so high school graduates can pursue education up to the tertiary level. TCU students are also full scholars of the city since the local government shoulders all their tuition fees and miscellaneous expenses.

Source: Philippine News Agency