Free Education Program gets Php139 million funds in SouthCot

The DepEd South Cotabato Division expressed its gratitude to the provincial government of South Cotabato headed by Governor Reynaldo S. Tamayo Jr., for making education one of the priority programs in the province.

Schools Division Superintendent Ruth Estacio said the program has benefitted not only the more than 8,000 teaching and non-teaching staff but also the   195,000 elementary and high-school students in public schools in the province. 

To date, the province has allocated a total of Php139 million as funding assistance intended for the different public schools.

This budget comprises the provision of Php44 million for the Special Education Fund (SEF) which is mandatory financial support to basic education coming from the collection from real property taxes.

From the General Fund, another ph65 million was allocated which include Phph Php34.7 million for cash assistance to 517 public schools.

Php30 million for the salaries and wages of teachers, utility workers, and security guards.

For this school year 2020-2021, a total of three hundred fifty-four (354) Provincial School Board-paid teachers, and four hundred fourteen (414) school-based security and utility personnel were hired.

Earlier, a Contract Signing of Provincial School Board Teachers, Child Development Teachers, School Utility Workers, and School Security Guards was held covering the period of January to June 2021.

Php11 million was also allocated on school requests for construction materials, sports equipment, and musical instruments.

These initiatives aimed to ensure that the needs of public schools are covered and no additional payments will be collected from learners through the Parents-Teachers Associations (PTAs).

With the support of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the Expanded Program on the Kabugwason Paglaum Scholarship Program-Grant in Aid (KPSP-GIA) was provided with an allocation of  Php23 million this year,  intended for the 395 grant-in-aid beneficiaries, and 323 regular college scholars.

This is to help the students who were not included in the national government scholarship programs, especially the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act or UniFAST and the “Tulong Dunong” implemented by the Commission on Higher Education.

An additional Php10 million was also provided with the expansion of the program which gives increased assistance from Php5,000 per grantee to Php10,000 for grant-in-aid.

For the post-graduate studies,  the program has provided assistance to fourteen (14) law students and fifteen (15) others taking up medicine.

The “Tamayo Foundation” also provides scholarships for those students who are enrolled in the South East Asian Institute of Technology, Inc. (SEAIT) to ensure that no students in the province will be left behind in this program.