By: Felipe V. Celino
ROXAS CITY, Capiz – The Capiz provincial government is poised to cut the number of scholars it sponsors due to lack of budget.
Governor Esteban Evan ‘Nonoy’ Contreras earlier assured that he will continue the scholarship for deserving students.
But provincial administrator Edwin Monares said that they might accept fewer scholars because of budget deficit.
Monares said the provincial government allocated P11 million for the education program for 2019.
But the previous administration spent P9 million for the first semester of this year, leaving only P2 million for the rest of the year.
He said that the past administration accepted about 4,900 scholars without passing proper screening.
The provincial government will ask for a P3-million supplemental budget to augment the remaining P2 million.
ln a press conference, lawyer Ferdinand Elbert Jomilla, provincial chief of KKK Information Center, said former Gov. Antonio del Rosario approved 4,951 grants under the Aksyon Agad Scholars.
Until 2017, Jomilla said the province only spent about P2 million a year for the scholarship.
But in 2018 to 2019, the estimated scholarship spending shot up to P60.590 million.
The 2019 scholarship fund totalled P16 million, but the remaining balance as of today is P83,000.
In his Facebook account, Del Rosario denied politicizing the scholarship program.
Del Rosario said the scholarship program is real as this can help alleviate the people from poverty.
He said he did not put grade requirements in the program because he wants students to learn even without high grades on the condition that they do not incur failing grades.
The former governor also denied that there was no ordinance for the educational program.
He admitted that his past administration granted 4,938 scholarships for the school year 2019-2020.
“Stop accusing me of corruption l did not commit as the allowances went directly to them (students) and the tuition fees were paid directly to the school where they were enrolled,” he added.