[VoxPop] Students rant about timing and provisions of 5K Yolanda aid

BAYBAY CITY, Leyte — Why now? Why just these courses? Why?

On June 23, 2017, the Regional Office of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in Eastern Visayas released a memorandum order telling SUCs that there will be a financial assistance of five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) for students in identified regions/provinces affected by supertyphoon Yolanda.

However, it was not until almost June 28 that the students were informed about this matter because of the absence of official announcements in social media.

The University Student Services Office (USSO) followed the deadline of application set by the CHED Regional Office, which was on June 28, 2017.

READ: Students rush to USSO to claim CHED's 5K Yolanda aid

This brought about an uproar of complaints from students who were understandably disappointed of the short notice and sudden announcement of deadline for application.

Allen Glen Gil, junior AgEng student from Sogod, Southern Leyte, believed that failure in disseminating the information caused quite a problem to the students. He said that the university’s web team and student publication should have been more responsible.

“The failure of information dissemination this very important matter caused a big mess. Both Amaranth and the VSU Web Team said it was because the higher office has to confirm things like these first before they circulate official announcements. However, the VSU radio was able to announce it. Lucky for those who heard the news through radio and Facebook live broadcast. Students from far places were informed too late. People put a lot of trust in our VSU Web Team and the Amaranth so I think that they should have done something knowing that there were not any announcement on social media.”

A sophomore DevCom student from Baybay Leyte, Devone Baradillo, knew this is a big challenge for students living far from VSU. He said that the deadline for application must be extended for the sake of these students.

“VSU students don’t only come from Baybay. We also have students from Samar, Northern and Southern Leyte. I hope that CHED will give an extension of the deadline because it’s not easy to get certification from our respective municipalities or cities. If they want to help many students, they should extend the deadline.”

Richie Mar Malate, a Biotech sophomore, from Tacloban City, Leyte, is happy that he successfully applied in CHED’s financial assistance program. He hopes that USSO will give the students a chance considering that it’s not easy to get the papers required of them.

“We were not given enough time to get the papers that we need. The short notice made it worse and it was also difficult to get a certification, especially for a Taclobanon like me because my place is far.”

Rica Opon, BSHRTM-2 from Ormoc Leyte, questioned a certain qualification saying that there are priority courses that can only avail the assistance. She asked why her degree program is said to be “not prioritized” when the CHED memorandum order clearly said, “The program is open to all enrolled students who are identified affected by typhoon Yolanda...”

“BSHRTM has always been not prioritized. CHED won’t accept us for scholarship, pati ba naman kini nga financial assistance sa Yolanda? (even this financial assistance for Yolanda victim) They are even requiring certificates to prove that our area was affected when they could just look at our address to know.”

The USSO instructed students to follow up their application forms on Monday, as Dean of Students Prof. Manolo B. Loreto will be back from official travel on that day. While USSO is still accepting applications, they said, however, that they are not sure if CHED will still accept these late forms.

Prof. Loreto will still try to endorse the late applications to CHED Region VIII.

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