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PIA Press Release
2008/11/20

AFP signs MOA with Caraga HEIs to provide free education to soldiers' dependents

by Robert E. Roperos

Butuan City (November 20) -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), through the Educational Benefit System signed yesterday (November 19) a Memorandum of Agreement with eight higher educational institutions in Caraga Region in providing free education to dependents of soldiers who are in-service and those who were killed in action.

In a solemn and heart-pounding awarding ceremony held in one of the local convention centers here, eight tertiary schools and universities from the region pledged to support the program by offering full tuition fee discounts in selected courses they are offering.

Among the highlights of the agreement made between AFP and Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU), the first home-grown university in Caraga is that, the university will provide five slots per year covering full tuition and matriculation fees. The educational benefit is applicable to any undergraduate course except Nursing and Law. The program may be availed by dependents of combat casualties.

Same with FSUU, Saint Paul University (SPU) Surigao City Campus provides five slots covering full tuition discount. The educational benefit shall be applicable in any undergraduate course offered by the school and the program may be availed by dependents of and active and inactive military personnel.

For Holy Child Colleges of Butuan, they committed to provide unlimited slots covering full tuition fee discount. The educational benefit is applicable in all educational level from elementary to college and master programs. The program shall apply to all dependents of active and inactive military personnel.

The New Northern Mindanao Colleges (NORMI) of Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte will provide five slots per year covering 100 percent tuition fee discount. The educational benefit is applicable to any undergraduate course offered by the school. The program may be availed by dependents of active and inactive military personnel.

On the other hand, Butuan City Colleges (BCC) committed to provide ten 100 percent scholarship slots covering tuition fees for four year courses. Another ten slots of 50 percent tuition fee discount will also be extended upon the consumption of the first ten slots while five slots of 50 percent tuition fee discount for short courses can also be availed by the grantee. The program may be availed by dependents of active and inactive military personnel.

Surigao Education Center (SEC), also in Surigao City will provide ten slots covering full tuition fee discount in tertiary level. The educational benefit is applicable in any undergraduate course offered by the school and may be availed by dependents of active military personnel.

Butuan City Colleges (BCC), one of the oldest schools in this city committed to provide one slot for the first year covering full tuition fee discount. The educational benefit is applicable to any undergraduate course offered by the school. The program may be availed by dependents of active and inactive military personnel. Also, additional slots will be determined by the school.

Finally, the Northeastern Mindanao Colleges in Surigao City also committed to support the program but at present, the MOA was still on the process of finalization.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Alexander Ambal, Chief and General Manager of the AFP Educational Benefit System Office said in a roundtable discussion with the local press that he was overwhelmed with the response of the academic institutions here in Caraga and foresees the sustainability of the program because of the unending support of the partner institutions in Caraga.

This was supported by Major General Ricardo David Jr., Commanding General of the 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army by saying that the dependents of the soldiers especially those who were killed in action here in the region are fortunate to have the support of these educational institutions "because these schools and universities have also implemented high standards of education", he said.

Also during the ceremony, Certificates of Scholarship were awarded to dependents of Private First Class Jaypee Balgosa and Roel Traquena of the Philippine Army who were both killed in an encounter with insurgents in Lingig, Surigao del Sur.

This noble effort of the AFP is in line with the thrusts and programs of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo particularly in educating dependents of soldiers.

Present during the MOA-signing are representatives and heads of the eight educational institutions. Representing the AFP is Deputy Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Rodrigo Maclang.

For inquiries regarding the program, contact the AFP Educational Benefit System Office (AFPEBSO) at Gate 6, Gen. Enrile corner Gen. Ramos Avenue, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City at (02) 912-6922 or 911-6153. They can also be contacted thru fax number 912-9606 or visit the website at www.afpebso.org.ph. (PIA-Caraga) [top]

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