Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia yesterday exhorted student-grantees of the government’s Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) to spend their money wisely and not waste the financial assistance they received on any gambling activity because it is intended for their essential educational needs.
“Use your TES correctly, rightly, judiciously and wisely. Not all students will get the same benefits. To those much is given, much is also expected. So do not waste it on gambling,” Leonardia told the 119 scholar-grantees from the Bacolod City College (BCC) in the distribution ceremonies held at the lobby of the Bacolod City Government Center.
He also advised the students to stay away from other vices such as drinking, drugs and other unnecessary things.
Each grantee received P20,000 for their TES for a total of P2.38 million for the first semester of school year 2020-21 on top of their free tuition and other benefits, Dr. Johanna Ann Rabago-Bayoneta, BCC administrator explained.
In May this year, she said, 174 BCC grantees were released their TES representing their subsidy for two semesters covering school year 2019-2020 at P40,000 each for a total of P6.96 million.
Joining Leonardia at the distribution rites were Councilor Bartolome Orola, Sr., Bayoneta and city consultant Marlon Solidum.
The TES is provided for under Republic Act 10931, or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education.
Bayoneta said that of the 119 student-grantees, 60 are from Bacolod, while the others are from various cities and towns of Negros Occidental.
TES is a grant-in-aid program of the government that is being implemented by the Commission on Higher Education and the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education or, UniFAST.
“This is for your future. Once you have received your TES money, use it wisely. Do not use it for gambling because gambling will make your lives miserable,” Leonardia told the college students, who are not only from Bacolod City but also from other towns and cities of Negros Occidental.
Many BCC scholarship-grantees used the financial subsidy they got from the government to buy either laptop or mobile phone which is an essential tool for the blended learning modes while face-to-face classes are still banned.
Twenty-four year old Jay Louies Villanueva, a graduating B.S. Information Technology student, said part of his TES aid will go to the payment of his yearbook dues and graduation fee.
“I am thankful for the assistance given by the government. I will save some for my allowance. Now, I can also give some to my parents,” confided Villanueva, of Barangay 27, who also works part-time as a construction assistant when not busy with his studies.
Murciahanon Riza Mae Bayatas, an office administration senior, also echoed Villanueva’s elation.
“I was able to buy essential tools and gadgets for my online classes. I bought a laptop when I got my TES lump sum in May. This time, I will get a new one to ensure my connectivity. I will also give money to my parents,” confided Bayatas, also 24, from Barangay Sta. Rosa, Murcia.*