Laoag City, Philippines – The children of tobacco farmers are going to post-secondary education with a free subsidy from the National Tobacco Administration’s (NTA) scholarship program.
A of 41 students has been added to NTA’s scholarship program this month which has reached to a total of 410 scholars. The newly added scholar beneficiaries represent an increase of 11-percent from the number of scholars last school year. Amongst the 41 new scholars, 30 are incoming freshmen.
Administrator Edgar D. Zaragoza said the NTA’s scholarship program is an incentive for tobacco farmers. The budget and coverage of the program increased.
The program is in line with the Tobacco-Free Education Program (TFEP) embodied in Republic Act No. 9211 or Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.The program covers deserving and qualified dependents of tobacco farmers duly registered with the NTA.
“The scholarship program will certainly help in uplifting their lives by subsidizing a portion of the educational expenses of their children,” Zaragoza said.
Zaragoza said the qualified students are encouraged to pursue a career in the field of agriculture and fishery to optimize the program’s contribution for the continuing development and modernization of the agriculture sector.
About 35-percent of the scholars are enrolled in agriculture-related courses in different state universities and colleges in tobacco-growing provinces.
The program covers both four-year degree courses and technical or vocational courses. To maintain the scholarship grant, each scholar should pass all subjects he or she is enrolled per semester.
Dr. Cristina C. Lopez, TFEP scholarship committee chairperson, said 142 slots are still available for deserving and qualified children of tobacco farmers.
Interested applicants, she added, may submit their documents for evaluation at the NTA branch office in their respective provinces.
“Applicants should submit authenticated copy of birth certificate, medical certificate, barangay clearance, national career assessment certificate, high school report card, certificate of good moral character and notice of admission issued by the tertiary institution where they intend to enroll,” Lopez said.