Students who plan to take courses on agriculture, fisheries, forestry or veterinary medicine can now apply for a scholarship program of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Under DA’s Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF), high school students or graduates can now submit their application forms through the Regional Scholarship Coordinators, State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) or Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
In reference to RA 10848 or the ACEF Extension Law, this ACEF Grants-In-Aid for Higher Education Program (ACEF-GIAHEP) directs the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to implement a comprehensive and attractive scholarship program for agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary medicine education.
According to Julie Delima, Western Visayas ACEF coordinator, the application is open until February 23.
“We will send the application forms and list of requirements to the different SUCs in the region. We hope to produce more number of ACEF scholars this coming academic year,” said Delima.
Based on the guidelines released by the Office of Undersecretary for Special Concerns Atty. Ranibai Dilangalen, a maximum of 10 scholars is allocated per campus.
Under ACEF-GIAHEP, a qualified scholar shall receive a subsidy for Tuition and Other School Fees (TOSF) of P15,000 per year and a stipend amounting P2,500 every month. During summer classes, a grantee shall also receive TOSF subsidy of P3,500 and a stipend of P5,000 for two months.
Delima added that a scholar shall also be given P15,000 grant for the conduct of Thesis and P3,000 as On-the-Job Training allowance.
TOSF and stipends shall be released on a semestral or trimestral basis for fund transfer to the CHED.
Graduating high school students, high school graduates, with earned units in college or passers of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) can qualify for this grants-in-aid program.
“Those who will enrol or currently enrolled in agriculture, fisheries, forestry or veterinary medicine courses in HEI authorized schools can avail of this ACEF scholarship program. Also, the combined annual gross income of scholar’s parents or guardians shall not exceed P300,000 in order to qualify,” Delima explained.
Delima furthered that ACEF scholars who will graduate with distinctions will be given cash incentives of P15,000 for Summa Cum Laude, P10,000 for Magna Cum Laude and P5,000 for Cum Laude graduates.
As part of the guidelines, ACEF scholars will also be given employment opportunities in DA or in its attached bureaus and line agencies.
“The average age of Filipino farmers is 57 years old. Through this scholarship program, we aim to encourage the youths to go into agriculture studies in order to develop the sector,” Delima continued.
For Region 6, here are the schools that offer courses on agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary medicine:
Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology (Sagay), Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College (Estancia), Iloilo State College of Fisheries (Barotac Nuevo), Central Philippines State University (Kabankalan City), Guimaras State College, West Visayas State University, University of Antique, Central Philippine University, Iloilo Science and Technology University, Aklan State University, Capiz State University, Carlos Hilado Memorial State College, UP Visayas.
Those who are interested to apply are advised to secure the standard application form and the list of requirements at the DA Regional Field Office 6 in Iloilo City or call (033) 337-9092/ 09195772346, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. (By Sheila Mae H. Toreno/DA 6 Information)