Republic of the Philippines
CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES
Metro Manila

Sixteenth Congress
Second Regular Session

Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-eighth day of July, two thousand fourteen.

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10648

AN ACT PROVIDING SCHOLARSHIP GRANTS TO TOP GRADUATES OF ALL PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS IN STATE UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

Section 1. Short Title. – This Act shall be known as the "Iskolar ng Bayan Act of 2014″.

Section 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is the declared policy of the State to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality and accessible education at all levels and to establish and maintain a financial assistance system that shall be available to deserving students, especially the underprivileged.

For this purpose, the government shall democratize access to higher education by institutionalizing a college scholarship program to be named the "Iskolar ng Bayan Program" for top graduates of public high schools in the country, subject to the academic standards, application and admission policies and such other reasonable rules and regulations of state universities and colleges (SUCs).

Section 3. Coverage. – The academic scholarships provided under the "Iskolar ng Bayan Program", hereinafter referred to as the Program, shall cover all public high school students belonging to the top ten (10) of the graduating class, based on the guidelines and criteria set by the Department of Education (DepED), who will enroll in SUCs as freshmen: Provided, That they meet the admission requirements of the SUCs where they intend to enroll in.

A public high school with more than five hundred (500) graduates shall be entitled to one (1) additional scholarship slot in SUCs for every five hundred (500) graduates. The additional slots shall be given to graduates whose ranks immediately follow the top ten (10) students and who will enroll in SUCs after meeting the admission requirements for freshmen.

Section 4. Admission in SUCs. – Any public high school student who belongs to the top ten (10) bracket of the graduating class shall be entitled to the scholarship grant provided under this Act in any SUC of choice upon compliance with the following conditions:

(a) The student has graduated from any public high school in the country within two (2) years prior to the academic year being applied for in the SUC;

(b) The student has complied with the application requirements of the SUC;

(c) The student’s rank is reported by the public high school principal or administrator in a certificate bearing the name of the school and its location, the number of students, the rank of the student applicant in the graduating class, and other relevant information; and

(d) After taking the entrance examination in the chosen SUC, the student has obtained a rating which has been designated by the SUC as the minimum rating for a student to be able to qualify for the scholarship program.

Provided: That for the next six (6) years in the implementation of this Act, beginning SY 2015-2016, admission to their SUCs of choice within their region shall be automatic for the top ten (10) graduating students of public high schools.

Section 5. Limitation in the Acceptance of Top Public High School Graduates by SUCs. – All SUCs shall provide scholarships to qualified public high school graduates under this Act: Provided, That the applicants have successfully passed the entrance examination and have complied with the admission requirements of the SUCs.

The SUC, however, may limit the number of students to be admitted under this Act if the number of applicants eligible and applying for admission exceeds by more than five percent (5%) the average number of first-time freshmen admitted to the SUCs during the first two (2) academic years preceding the entry of the applicant.

The Commision on Higher Education (CHED) and the concerned SUCs shall establish the appropriate guidelines in the acceptance of top public high school graduates.

Section 6. Support to the Program. – The following government agencies/entities shall provide support for the effective implementation of the Program:

I. Government Agencies – these government agencies shall implement the following mandates:

(a) CHED

(1) Conduct a review of the number of graduating public high school students in each province to ensure that the SUCs therein have the capacity to absorb the Iskolars ng Bayan;

(2) Together with the SUCs, develop a system, including the appointment of advisers, which shall provide assistance and guidance to the scholars in the determination of the appropriate course and the SUC which will best suit their aspirations and strengths; and

(3) Ensure the SUCs’ compliance with the law.

(b) DepED

(1) Disseminate information to all public high schools on the implementation of the Program and the availability of scholarship slots;

(2) Conduct a census of the number of graduating public high school students in each province for submission to the CHED;

(3) Identify the top ten (10) graduates in each public high school, as well as the additional top graduates in case the public high school has more than five hundred (500) graduates;

(4) Provide timely reminders about the Program to all public high schools towards the second half of the school year in order to give the prospective top graduates ample preparation time to apply for the Program; and

(5) Ensure compliance by all public high schools.

(c) SUCs

(1) Provide information to the faculty, administrative officials and staff, and parents about the Program;

(2) Inform the CHED of their capacity to absorb the students applying under the Program;

(3) Provide a summer bridge program, should the scholar fail to meet the academic admission requirements for his or her preferred course, in order to enable the scholar to comply with the minimum academic requirements and/or allow the scholar to enroll in another course; and

(4) Ensure that full assistance is granted to the scholars to enable them to avail of the Program.

II. Local Government Units (LGUs) – LGUs are encouraged to create their own scholarship program.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is encouraged to submit an annual report to the SUCs in their respective province or region containing projections on employment opportunities and job openings.

III. Private Higher Education Institutions (PHEIs) – PHEIs are encouraged to create their own version of the Program.

IV. Private Corporations – Private corporations are encouraged to support the Program under their corporate social responsibility projects.

Section 7. Limitations of the Program. –The scholarship grant provided under this Act shall be limited to the full amount of tuition and other school fees for the first year of college. Thereafter, the student beneficiary shall be covered by the regular student financial assistance and scholarship programs of the CHED, if qualified, subject to the guidelines that the CHED may provide.

Section 8. Reportorial Requirements of SUCs. – Each SUC shall report annually to the CHED on or before a date set by the Commission. The report shall include the number of students admitted under the Program, the courses they are enrolled in, their academic standing and other relevant information that will help improve the Program. The CHED shall also provide Congress a copy of the report.

Section 9. Performance Monitoring and Impact Assessment. – The Program shall be evaluated rigorously by the CHED in terms of its impact on desired results and its progress towards achieving them shall be monitored regularly. The CHED shall clearly define those results and their target values. Impact evaluation shall be measured against, among others:

(a) Education outcomes such as enrolment in all SUCs and number of graduates;

(b) Economic indicators such as income and employment; and

(c) Indicators for contributions to community service and public good.

Performance and progress shall, in addition, be measured with regard to: (a) number of students covered by the program; (b) quality of SUCs enrolled in; and (c) economic status upon enrolment. Tracer studies and survey data for experimental and quasi-experimental analyses shall be undertaken to produce credible impact evaluation studies, as may be determined by the CHED: Provided, That the Program is to be evaluated every five (5) years from the date of its implementation.

Section 10. Appropriations. – The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be included in the budget of the CHED or the concerned SUCs in the annual General Appropriations Act.1βwphi1

Section 11. Implementing Rules and Regulations. – The CHED and the DepED, in consultation with relevant stakeholders in higher education, shall issue within sixty (60) days after the effectivity of this Act, the rules and regulations for the effective implementation of this Act.

Section 12. Separability Clause. – If any part or provision of this Act shall be held unconstitutional or invalid, other provisions thereof which are not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect.

Section 13. Repealing Clause. – All laws, presidential decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations or parts thereof which are not consistent with this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

Section 14. Effectivity Clause. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days from its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Approved,

(Sgd.) FELICIANO BELMONTE JR.
Speaker of the House
House of Representatives
(Sgd.) FRANKLIN M. DRILON
President of the Senate

This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2275 and House Bill No. 4860 was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on September 23, 2014 and September 24, 2014, respectively.


(Sgd.) MARILYN B. BARUA-YAP
Secretary General
House of Representatives

(Sgd.) OSCAR G. YABES
Secretary of the Senate

Approved: NOV 27 2014

(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines


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