With an allowance of P160K

In its bid to encourage students from remote areas in the country, University of the Philippines President Angelo Jimenez announced an invitation for students from these areas to enroll and study at the nation’s premier state university. Out of the 330 slots available for this campaign, 11 slots have been allocated for Eastern Visayas.

TACLOBAN CITY-The University of the Philippines (UP), considered one of the premier universities in the country, is aiming to attract more students from geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA).

This was disclosed by its president, Angelo Jimenez, who was in the city to grace the 51st founding anniversary of the Tacloban UP which is also celebrating its first year anniversary as an autonomous unit of the UP system on Thursday (May 23).

Jimenez said that as part of their effort, they are offering about 300 slots for students who are from these areas across, including in Eastern Visayas.

“We are focusing of trying to bring in more students from GIDA areas. We are bringing in 300 for the year from these GIDA areas of which 11 are from Region 8,” he said in a press conference.

Students who will avail of this program are to receive P160,000 in annual financial support from the university consisting of food, dormitory, transportation, and book allowances.
He said that helping a student coming from a GIDA area finish his college education would mean one family being assisted and could lead to a better life for them.

According to Jimenez, this campaign is part of UP’s goal to be a partner in the economic development of Eastern Visayas, home to more than 4 million people but is one of the country’s less developed regions.

“We are here to reiterate the national leadership of the UP system for the further expansion and development of Region 8. We intend to be an empowering presence in the region, particularly in the GIDA areas,” he added.

But while they will be aggressive in inviting students from these poor and isolated areas, Jimenez stressed that they will not compromise their quality of education.

“(While) we want to make UP (education) accessible from the marginalized sector, we cannot lower our standards just to accommodate those coming from disadvantaged areas,” the UP president said.

For her part, Patricia Arinto, dean of UP Tacloban, said that they are also going around the region, including those in remote areas, for them to study at UP.

“For our part, we are going around the region that are not yet represented among our students and majority of our students are from Tacloban City and its environs and very few from Samar provinces and even from Biliran and Southern Leyte provinces,” she said.

She said that while one of the reasons could be due to distance, it could also be due to financial factor which is being addressed by offering bigger stipend or allowance.

At present, UP Tacloban has more than 1,400 students enrolled in the 10 programs.

Meanwhile, Arinto said that in three years’ time, they will be transferring to their new school site in Barangay Sta. Elena, 17 kms north from the city proper.

The university has allocated over P600 million for its new campus.

At present, the UP Tacloban is located within the city proper since it first opened on May 23, 1973, with only 145 students.