DSWD does not enlist beneficiaries for CHED’s tertiary education subsidy

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol clarified today that the agency is not enlisting students to become beneficiaries of the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

“We would like to inform the public that the DSWD does not provide any scholarship program. We do not facilitate the enlisting of beneficiaries for any scholarship,” DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said.

He further explained that the DSWD’s Listahanan data was used by CHED thru the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UNIFAST) in identifying beneficiaries for the TES.

“The database was already completed hence we cannot modify it. Also, as per Executive Order (EO) 867, Listahanan serves as the basis for government agencies involved in social protection programs and should be updated every four years ,” Garcia added.

Under the Republic Act No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, the TES offers qualified students to pursue a college education without paying tuition fees and other school fees in accordance to its implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

As indicated on the IRR, TES prioritization will apply on the following categories: 1) continuing grantees of Expanded Students’ Grants-in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA) 2) students included in the Listahanan 2.0 ; 3) Students residing and studying in private higher education institutions (HEIs) in cities/municipalities with no existing State University & Colleges (SUC’s) or CHED-recognized Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) ; 4) those not in the Listahanan 2.0 but show proof of indigency such as BIR certificate of no income, or barangay certificate of indigency, and ranked according to per capita income.

According to CHED-Unifast V Regional Coordinator Ms. Fau Rey, for this year’s implementation, students who fall in categories 1-3 only were prioritized and have been processed.

“For the 1st semester of 2018-2019, 13,626 students qualified for the TES from 117 schools in the Bicol region came from the Listahanan 2.0 data,” said Rey.

Under the TES, students’ beneficiaries will get an amount of Php 40,000-60,000 per year to cover for tuition fees, books, transportation, supplies, room & board, and other school expenses.

Meanwhile, the agency clarified that being a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary will not automatically entitle them of TES.

“The basis of Pantawid Pamilya came from the Listahanan 1 conducted in 2009-2010 while for the TES was derived from the Listahanan 2 result from the 2015 household assessment,” explained Garcia.

Director Garcia also cleared that being interviewed by the DSWD’s Listahanan will not automatically enroll in any program. He said that Listahanan does not offer nor provide program benefits because it is a tool that puts faces to the poor. It is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are which serves as the basis of different agencies implementing programs for the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized sectors.