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AGRI PARTY-LIST TO PUSH FOR AGRI SCHOLARSHIP FUND

The AGRI party-list said it will push for the creation of a dedicated scholarship fund in the next administration for deserving students who want to study agriculture or aquaculture to complement the existing free tertiary education law.

“Sa ating palagay ay hindi nakukuha ng agriculture, as a field of study, ang suporta na dapat binibigay rito. Bagama’t may libreng tuition para sa mga nag-aaral sa mga state colleges and universities, minsan hindi ito sapat lalo na para sa mga gastusin sa libro at board and lodging,” AGRI Party-list first nominee and former judge Frank Lobrigo said Sunday.

Recipients will be entitled to the grant for the entire duration of their stay in college while matriculating in agriculture and aquaculture programs identified and approved by the DA and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

“What we want to do is institutionalize agriculture scholarships in tandem with Republic Act No. 10931. Doing so will encourage students to pursue a career that will help promote and strengthen the agricultural sector in our economy, whether they study in public or private schools,” he added.

“We also want to entice college graduates to pursue post-graduate studies in agriculture. Halimbawa ‘yung mga may business degrees na, pwede silang kumuha ng agriculture kung gusto nilang maging agripreneurs,” he further said.

This will transform Philippine agriculture into a multidisplinary industry, he stressed.

Lobrigo said the scholarship the AGRI Party-list is pushing for will grant eligible students an annual award for full-time study, including tuition and other fees, an outright grant for prescribed textbooks and essential school supplies, and monthly transportation and living allowance. RA 10931 only covers tuition and other school fees; it does not provide a stipend for books and living expenses.

“We want to modernize agriculture and aquaculture in our country, and we want to entice ‘yong ating mga kabataan na techno-savvy para sila ang magblaze ng trail.”

The former judge added recipients will be entitled to the grant for the entire duration of their stay in college while matriculating in agriculture and aquaculture programs identified and approved by the DA and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

“Ang karaniwang tingin ng mga tao sa agriculture ay hindi makabago. Kaya ang goal natin is to infuse the agricultural sector with fresh blood. We want to modernize agriculture and aquaculture in our country, and we want to entice ‘yong ating mga kabataan na techno-savvy para sila ang magblaze ng trail,” Lobrigo said.

The AGRI Party-list first nominee said this is in line with the World Bank study titled Transforming Philippine Agriculture During COVID-19 and Beyond that says “transforming the country’s farming and food systems is even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure strong food value chains, affordable and nutritious food, and a vibrant rural economy.”

“Modernizing the country’s agricultural sector is a very important agenda for the Philippines,” said Ndiame Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. “With the exception of a few small natural resource-rich countries, no country has successfully transitioned from middle- to high-income status without having achieved an effective transformation of their agri-food systems.”

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