DOST to support more scholars

For academic year 2018-2019,  more qualified students in state colleges and universities (SUCs) will be given scholarships from the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST – SEI).

This was revealed by Dr. Josette Biyo, DOST-SEI director, during the Filipino Patriot Scholars Project (FPSP), a two-day scholars’ formation program held at MMSU Teatro Ilocandia last April 14-15.

Dr. Biyo said that about 9,000 slots for incoming scholars were added to the present 3,000 slots this year.

There is also an increase in the monthly stipends of the continuing scholars, particularly 3rd and 4th year students - from P5,000 or P6,000 to P7,000 - regardless of the degree program they are enrolled in and the type of scholarship they are enjoying.

In addition, the tuition subsidy of scholars enrolled in private schools has increased from P20,000 to P40,000.

The FPSP is an initiative of DOST-SEI that seeks to foster patriotism among state-funded scholars and instill in their minds the value of leadership, excellence, social responsibility, and service to the Filipino people.

This project was formed to comply with the provisions of Article 2, Section 17 of the Constitution, which gives priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development.

The formation program was participated in by DOST-SEI scholars from MMSU, University of Northern Philippines (UNP) in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur; Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) in La Union, Pangasinan State University (PSU), and some private universities in Region I. Dr. Biyo said the national government strongly supports this initiative due to the stellar profiles of the scholars. She added that the government believes in the potentials of these scholars in helping reduce poverty to attain inclusive development.

Addressing the scholars, Dr. Biyo said, “We expect you to help address the challenges and issues in our country in the future by applying your knowledge and skills through working with the government and rendering voluntary services.”

DOST-SEI is mandated to produce adequate supply of science, technology, and human resources in support of national government programs and to industries, academes, and private sectors through provision of scholarship grants such as undergraduate S&T scholarship, and merit scholarship, among others.

Through these grants, the government is supporting more than 22,000 scholars all over the country. This number is expected to increase with the additional slots in the next school year. 

Dr. Biyo said that out of the 1,650 municipalities in the country, only about 50 have no DOST scholars.

“The DOST has been increasing the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professionals to comply with 380 STEM graduates per million population as set by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), hoping that the remaining 110 STEM graduates per million population will be completed by 2021,” she said.

MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis thanked the DOST-SEI for organizing the innovative program and for bringing back scientists in the country, adding that she is happy that of the 247 DOST-SEI scholars in Region I, 150 are from MMSU.

“Patriotism should be inculcated in the scholars, aside from building an intellectually-inclined manpower, in order to rebuild the nation,”  Agrupis said.