CHEd’s side on delayed scholarship funds
THIS REFERS to Rene Luis Tadle’s letter, “CHEd very slow in releasing scholarship funds” (Opinion, 6/28/16).
For the sake of the public, especially the scholars who will soon begin their graduate studies through the Commission on Higher Education’s K-to-12 Transition Program Scholarship Grant, the CHEd would like to clarify the following:
Pursuant to its mandate, the CHEd since its inception in 1994 has been providing faculty members of higher education institutions (HEIs) with scholarships for graduate degrees. Its current Faculty Development Program (Phase 2), ongoing since 2010, is an iteration of these scholarship grants. This program has since been expanded, through the CHEd K-to-12 Transition Program, to include both teaching and nonteaching personnel, and provides a higher allocation to cover more recipients during the K-to-12 transition period from June 2016 to 2021.
The CHEd acknowledges the many challenges in the disbursement of living allowances to its faculty scholars. It must be noted, though, that the delays are largely attributable to the faculty scholars’ HEIs through which the living allowances were coursed for disbursement. A number of these HEIs have not yet submitted their liquidation reports for the funds. This poses a problem for the CHEd since the Commission on Audit (COA) requires an HEI to first fully account for previous CHEd allocations before it may receive similar funding.
In view of this, the CHEd has set out to make more efficient the system for releasing grants under the CHEd K-to-12 Transition Program by, among other measures, streamlining the nomination/application and vetting process, including an option to submit the requirements online, in partnership with Edukasyon.ph.
Most importantly, in terms of disbursing the living allowances of faculty and staff scholars, the CHEd has designed the K-to-12 Transition Scholarships for Faculty and Staff in a way that decouples the living allowance of scholars from their HEIs. Beginning this semester, the CHEd will be distributing the living allowances directly to the scholars through prepaid cards, in partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines.
These prepaid cards require no maintaining balance, and, therefore, the scholars face no risk of maxing out their withdrawals resulting in closure of their accounts, which was another cause of delay in the past. The prepaid cards also allow automatic remittances monthly; and being Visa-branded, they can be used in 1 million ATMs globally.
The CHEd seeks to assure incoming faculty and staff scholars that it is resolutely committed to closely monitor the efficiency of the implementation of the K-to-12 Transition Program Scholarships, through regular feedback gathering and program (and process) evaluations, so that should similar setbacks and inefficiencies occur, these can be resolved quickly, in accordance with existing CHEd regulations and COA accounting and auditing guidelines.
For more information, interested parties may visit our website: www.chedk12.wordpress.com or contact us through (02) 4410927 and [email protected]
—KAROL MARK YEE, program director, K-to-12 Transition Program management unit, Commission on Higher Education
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