TACLOBAN CITY- The SM Foundation Inc, the socio-civic group arm of the SM Group of Companies, is offering 100 slots under its scholarship program for this year for Eastern Visayas .
And all their prospective scholars come from Yolanda-hit areas, a way to help the cash-strapped families of the students who could qualify their scholarship program, said Linda Atayde, SM Foundation Inc. director for education.
The program is now on its 21st year although it was just launched last year in the region with 20 slots.
For year, 100 slots were made available though more than 1,000 students took the test and interview held last February.
The students came from Yolanda-hit areas like Tacloban City and other Leyte towns and from Basey in Samar .

Those who have a weighted average of 88 percent from the second or third grading periods and whose annual family income is just P150,000 were the qualifications set for one to qualify for the SM scholarship.
“We’re very surprised that there were 1,100 applicants who came over to our recruitment site at Leyte Normal University (LNU) where we conducted our examination and interview,” Atayde said.
Atayde added that they have conducted a background check in which they personally visited the residence of the probable scholars, talked to their parents, neighbors, and schools were they are enrolled in order to ensure that those who will qualify the college scholarship are really indigents.
Aside from the free tuition, included also in the scholarship are allowances for books, school supplies, board and lodging, and transportation.
The scholars of the SM Foundation may apply for the following courses: BS in Computer Science; BS in Information Technology; BS in Information Management; BS in Electronics and Communications Engineering; BS in Computer Engineering; BS in Civil Engineering; BS in Electrical Engineering; BS in Mechanical Engineering; BS in Elementary Education; BS in Secondary Education; and BS in Accountancy BSC/BSBA major in Accountancy.
Upon graduation, scholars are offered jobs with the SM Group although they may opt to work elsewhere if they so desire. (RYAN GABRIEL LLOSAR ARCENAS)