The proper route to academic excellence was inculcated to some 230 Valenzuelano youth in the recent orientation rites of Congressman REX Gatchalian’s educational scholarship program to help them realize the importance of keeping their generous scholarship privileges for a worry-free college life.
Four outstanding “REXponsableng Scholars” who graduated with high honors this year shared testimonials on how positive outlook, time management and self-motivation influenced their academic journey while keeping an eye on maintaining their scholarships.
The scholarship program prioritizes applicants from poor families. One of the provisions of the program requires that the parent’s gross annual income does not exceed Php 120,000. Successful beneficiaries of the program are enrollees of the University of the Philippines (UP), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), or Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela (PLV). PUP and PLV students get a lump sum of Php 5,000 per semester while UP students get a lump sum amount of Php 25,000 per semester, in view of its more expensive matriculation fees.
The Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Congressman Gatchalian has appropriated a total of Php 5,440,000 for this scholarship program since its establishment in 2008, which translated to giving access to a total of 800 intellectually gifted youth quality education.
City Mayor WIN Gatchalian’s aim is to accommodate more students in order to give them the gift of education. The REXponsableng Scholar educational grant is a vital supplement to Dr. Pio Valenzuela Scholarship Program, which has also adopted 148 Valenzuelano youth this year, who are marginalized but intellectually gifted and of good moral character. Grantees herein are entitled to a financial assistance of PhP 30,000 annually or PhP 15,000 per semester for tuition and other school fees.
Although the parents and the incoming college freshmen were thankful to Congressman Gatchalian for the educational opportunity presented to them, the lawmaker opted to humbly deny the credits saying that it was not him who gave the scholarship to them but the tax payers. “Huwag po ninyo akong pasalamatan dahil hindi ko po perang personal ang ginagamit sa pag-aaral ninyo. Magpasalamat kayo sa inyong mga magulang, mga kapitbahay at sa lahat ng mga tapat na nagbabayad ng buwis sa ating pamahalaan. Ang mga nagbabayad ng tamang buwis ang tunay na nagpapaaral sa inyo.” (Please do not thank me because the money for your scholarship did not come from my own pocket. Instead, thank your parents, your neighbors, and the taxpayers who pay their dues to the government. The honest tax payers are the ones who are funding your education.)”
The scholarship is renewable every semester until the recipient finishes his course, provided that he has obtained an average grade of 2.50 or better for a load of at least 15 units with no grade of 5.0. Any grade of “incomplete” must be removed or completed on or before the last day for late registration . If the scholar fails to meet the average requirement, or obtains a failing grade after a semester, the scholarship shall be, ipso facto, terminated.
An AB Economics Cum Laude Graduate from the University of the Philippines, Batch 1 recipient Julie Ann De Guzman reminded the freshmen scholars, "Ang totoong rewardnatin ay ang kinabukasan. Huwag natin sayangin ang oportunidad na ito, bagkus ay pagyamanin pa natin. (Our genuine reward is our future. Let us not waste this important opportunity, but rather, let us cherish it.)”