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Albay Gov Bichara’s scholarship program promises free college education

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The office of Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara is cooking up a scholarship program that could one-up the old Albay Higher Education Continuing Scheme (AHECS) loan program.

A Bicol Standard report Tuesday (May 16) said that the new program will be dubbed the “Governor’s Distinction List” wherein the top 20 honor students in every public senior high school would be made the beneficiary.

Albay’s Provincial Education Department (PED) chief, Dr. Cham Zuniga, said chosen students under Bichara’s Distinction List won’t have to pay a loan like with the AHECS.

Zuniga said local government units (LGUs) will shoulder the college tuition fees of the scholars per semester.

The Albay government will primarily bankroll the Governor’s Distinction List through its savings.

“Initially 20 top honor students per senior high school will benefit from the scholarships but eventually all poor and deserving students who want to finish college will get the chance to avail of the scholarship,” Zuniga was quoted as saying in the report.

Under the AHECS, families were assured of a chance to send their children to college with grantees given a P5,000 loan each semester. The amount would then have to be paid back once the scholar begins to work.