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CHED XI, Rep. Duterte aids SUC students

FIFTY-NINE students from different state universities and colleges (SUCs) received cash support for their tuition fees from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) XI and the First Congressional District Office on Jan. 10 at People’s Park. 

In a statement, Maria Bonjeavem Alger, CHED XI chief administrative officer, said each recipient received P25,000 cash from the Student Monetary Assistance for Recover and Transition (SMART) program, initiated by the House of Representatives. 

“The government acknowledges that even though the pandemic ends in 2022, the impact remains. There are still parents who lost their jobs and have not yet returned to work and are having a hard time sustaining the needs of their children,” Alger said.

Alger said the SMART program aims to help increase the number of graduates despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the CHED, the program started last year under their Higher Education Development Fund (HEDF). The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released P1 billion to implement the SMART program on August 29, 2023.

“It is a one-time payment for students who are Filipino citizens, enrolled in any higher education institution recognized by the CHED for the first semester of school year 2023-2024, and has no other scholarship granted by any government agency or government institution,” Alger said.

Students who want to avail of the SMART program can go to congressional district offices here to submit their application, certificate of enrollment, and other vital documents. The congressional district offices will then endorse them to the CHED central office, which evaluates the application.

Alger said there are almost 2,000 slots for the Davao Region, and Representative Paolo Duterte’s office has 80 slots who can avail of the program in Davao City. She added another batch will receive the grant.

Rep. Duterte advocates for approving legislative proposals providing scholarships and educational support to underprivileged workers and their offspring.


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