Davao City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through one of its big-ticket programs, the Pantawid Pamilya convenes starting today 71 Pantawid college scholars for its 2nd Students’ Congress at Secdea Beach Resort, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte.

Congress participants are currently enrolled in the following State Universities and Colleges (SUCs): University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) -Compostela, Mintal and Obrero Campuses; Davao Oriental State College for Science and Technology (DOSCST) in Mati City; Davao del Norte State College Panabo (DNSC); and Southern Philippines Agri-business, Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST) -Digos City and Malita Campuses.

The Students’ Congress aims to (1) address adolescent concerns on family, issues about self, identity and relationships by identifying risk and protective factors; (2) focus on lived experiences of the participants; (3) underscore positivity in adolescents; and (4) gauge readiness and willingness of the students to take part in future Youth Development Programs (YDS).

“These 71 Pantawid college scholars are part of the 2,029 total Expanded Students Grant-in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) in the entire Davao Region,” said DSWD XI Regional Director Priscilla N. Razon.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and DSWD implemented the program in 2012. ESGP-PA ensures that the grantees are enrolled in selected SUCs duly recognized by CHED, channelled to CHED priority courses, and be extended the needed support that will guarantee completion of studies thus qualify them for a high-value added jobs in the future,” Director Razon added.

The selection of potential ESGP-PA scholars is done using the parameter of one beneficiary per Pantawid household. This number is proportioned to the number of households and the area coverage per municipality.

Potential scholars must be 16-20 years old and must be willing and interested to become a student beneficiary. Moreover, an upcoming student grantee must pass the entrance examination set by the respective SUC. However, in cases that the number of potential beneficiaries exceeds the allocated slots, grade requirement shall be applied. Students belonging to the upper 20% of the graduating class will be prioritized.

A student-grantee receives a maximum of P 60,000.00 scholarship grant per school year or P 30,000.00 per semester. This is broken down to P20, 000/year Tuition Fee Cost; P 5,000/year Textbook Fees and other learning materials; and P 35,000 (that is, P 3,500/month x 10 months) stipend for board and lodging, transportation, clothing, health/medical needs, basic school supplies and other related costs. (DSWD)