Bill proposes scholarships, tuition fee discounts for OFWs' kids
MANILA, Philippines - A lawmaker has filed a bill that seeks to "make education accessible" to dependents of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).
The "OFW Dependent's Educational Assistance Act of 2013," or House Bill 2299, aims to establish a system of scholarship grants and tuition fee discount programs to deserving OFW dependents.
"Considering the contribution our OFWs continue to give to our economy, it is just fitting to extend assistance to their dependents as a sign of our gratitude for the sacrifices they went through while away from their families," said OFW Family Club party-list representative Juan Revilla.
The bill is in line with the state policy of ensuring that OFW dependents' have access to educational assistance.
"By providing opportunity to the dependents of our OFWs, the measure will enhance and further their education and skills to prepare them for productive employment and contribute in the development of our economy," Revilla added.
The bill will cover all qualified dependents' of OFWs with an existing and valid contract from a Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) accredited employment agency, who are entering tertiary or vocational/technical educational institution.
All state universities and colleges (SUC), local government unit (LGU) owned and administered universities and colleges as well as in Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) school and training centers, shall provide scholarship grants to qualified deserving children of OFW which shall include free tuition fee, subsidies and other incentives.
All dependents of OFWs who apply for the said scholarship program should pass a screening process to be administered by the SUC, LGU owned and administered universities and the TESDA and should present a POEA certified copy of the employment contract of his/her OFW parent.
For those dependents of OFWs who do not qualify for the scholarship grant, they shall be entitled to a 50% tuition fee discount, which can be claimed at the time of enrollment.
Under the bill, qualified students who are refused or denied availment of scholarship or tuition fee discount privilege may file a complaint with the Regional Office of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), TESDA of LGU with jurisdiction over the concerned educational institution.
When refusal to grant the said privilege is deliberate or unreasonable, the erring institution shall be penalized with a fine in the amount of P10,000.
Likewise, any student who is found guilty of misrepresentation in order to avail of such privilege shall be made to pay the total amount of tuition fee and may be sanctioned with disciplinary actions by the institution, including suspension or expulsion from the said school.