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BTA bill seeks college scholarship program

MARAWI CITY (PIA)–The proposed bill to provide financially disadvantaged but academically capable and highly motivated students in the Bangsamoro region with access to college scholarship grants was introduced in the first reading at the Bangsamoro Parliament.

Also known as the Bangsamoro Scholarship Act of 2022, the proposed measure, authored by Members of the Parliament, Diamila Ramos, Abdulazis Amenoden, Suharto Ambolodto, Mohammad Kelie Antao, Eddie Alih, and Nabila Pangandaman, aims to make tertiary education accessible to all.

Under Parliament Bill No. 140, there will be a Bangsamoro Scholarship Program for Filipinos who live in the area and have graduated from a recognized private or public school in BARMM but whose family income is not enough to pay for a bachelor’s degree.

Scholars in the program are guaranteed admission to any state college or university in the area chosen by the Ministry of Education.

Free tuition and other school fees, financial help for research projects and internships, allowances for necessary books, supplies, equipment, clothing, or uniforms, monthly living expenses, transportation, and other education-related costs are also given to students.

Scholars are required to work for three years in any private or public institution in the BARMM after getting their bachelor’s degree.

The MBHTE will be in charge of implementing, evaluating, awarding, entering into scholarship contracts with scholars, and monitoring the program. It will also ensure the timely release of benefits and entitlements for the scholars.

It will also be in charge of ensuring that there are no duplicate scholarships and that those who are underserved by national government financial assistance programs receive priority.

It will also provide access to equal opportunities and special privileges to those involved in the peace process, including former combatants, their families, and the MILF and MNLF communities.

MBHTE will give the scholarship program a web-based portal and information system to handle the application and submission of requirements, as well as the database and profiles of applicants and scholars.

Under the direction of MBHTE, the proposed measure will set up a Bangsamoro Scholarship Coordinating Council to work with ministries and other Bangsamoro government agencies and offices to set up and run the scholarship program.

The BSCC will be composed of the region’s science and technology, health, agriculture and fisheries, trade and investment, environment, labor, and indigenous peoples ministries; youth and women’s commissions; and other agencies and offices.

MPs Michael Midtimbang, Susana Anayatin, Basit Abbas, Ali Solaiman, Ali Sangki, Abdulwahab Pak, and Hamid Malik are the co-authors of the proposed measure. (BTA/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)

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