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PIA Press Release

PNOC grants scholarship to 240 Valencia studes

by Jennifer Tilos

Dumaguete City (21 September) -- A total of P1.2 million will be awarded to some 240 high school students as scholarship grant by the Philippine National Oil Company - Energy Development Corporation (PNOC-EDC) on September 21, 2007 during the high school scholarship awarding ceremony at Valencia Gym.

Of the total scholars coming from the three National High Schools in Valencia, 70 from Pulangbato National High School; 85 from San Pedro Academy Recoletos in Barangay Caidiocan, and 85 students from Valencia National High School.

Each scholar will receive P5,000 scholarship grant which include tuition fees, school supplies, stipend and other needs in schools.

While, the present administration is investing P3 billion in science and engineering research and development technology, including scholarships for masters and doctoral degrees in engineering in some universities in the country.

This is the 4th year of PNOC's scholarship program which started last 2004 as part of its corporate social responsibilities that provide educational access to poor but deserving students in barangays within the geothermal site.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said, she had instructed the Department of Education (DepEd) to "fast-track English training among grade school teachers - including principals."

In the National Competitiveness Summit last year, the government resolved that by 2010, the proficiency level of Math, Science and English in the schools should be improved by 30%.

The government have funds to spend additional hundred billion pesos every year or P1T for a medium-term public investment program to enhance the natural competitive advantages of the natural sub-economies or Super Regions of RP. The President said, the administration is determined to raise the infrastructure spending to GNP ratio to 4.5% which is the asset average.

Last week, PGMA signed an EO to launch GIGA, the Generating Investments in Geothermal Areas project. That EO instructs LGUs to set up economic zones in the jurisdictions near 7 geothermal project sites of the PNOC so that embassies can benefit from the local government's use of their geothermal project royalties.

The President said, in these areas including the Palinpinon getothermal, local governments have large bank accounts from royalties and the money is used to subsidize the electric bills of their constituents.

Thus, PGMA urge electronics investors to take advantage of these subsidized electric bills in the communities hosting geothermal plants.

A lower electric bill is already a powerful draw but will make it more irresistible by throwing in the other fiscal incentives which an economic zone is allowed to grant. The synergy of geothermal power and eco-zones will power up progress. The EO instructs the PEZA to guide the LGUs in setting up these economic zones in geothermal areas, Arroyo said. (PIA) [top]

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