LEGAZPI CITY, June 22 (PNA) -- Qualified and deserving medical students who desire to pursue their dream of becoming doctors can now enjoy free tuition at the Bicol University (BU) here which has allocated a PHP 39-million budget for the program this year.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED)-Bicol Director George Colorado on Wednesday said that BU was among the eight state universities and colleges (SUCs) nationwide which were selected to provide free tuition for medical students.
“About PHP39 million will be disbursed under BU’s general appropriations budget allocation until December 31, 2017 for this grant,” he said.
Colorado said that a total of P317.1 million has been allotted from CHED’s 2017 budget for academic year 2017-2018 under its “Cash Grants to Medical Students Enrolled in State Universities and Colleges (CGMS-SUCs)” program.
He added that the implementing rules and regulations or IRR for the said student assistance fund were already finalized with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
In a joint memorandum circular of CHED and DBM, qualified student-grantees shall be entitled to receive 100 percent tuition subsidy based on the actual tuition of their respective SUCs.
It was learned from Colorado that this initiative was in response to the continuing lack of doctors in the country due to the high cost of medical education, overseas migration and brain drain.
“To address the problem, the Duterte administration decided to subsidize the tuition of medical students and facilitate their residency and practice in different parts of the country,” he said.
Colorado said to qualify for CGMS-SUCs, a student must pass the admission requirement and should also enroll in an authorized Doctor of Medicine program of the SUC.
Grantees are also required to maintain a general weighted average of at least a passing grade, carry a regular academic load and complete the degree within the period allowed in school.
“Student-grantees of CGMS-SUCs will have to render a one-year ‘return service’ in the Philippines for every year of cash grant received as part of their public service responsibility,” said Colorado.
Grantees can serve as doctors in government or private hospitals, local government facilities or become doctors to the barrios, he added. (Edgar Isidro Alejo/PNA)