/ 14 January 2021

MORE than 54,000 students in private schools benefited from the financial assistance granted under the Bayanihan 2 law, according to the Commission on Higher Education.

CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera III said that a total of 54,761 private school students who had unpaid tuition and miscellaneous fees each received P5,000 under the Bayanihan 2 for Higher Education Tulong Program.

The P300 million fund for the B2HELP was part of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Re-public Act 11494 signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on September 11, 2020 to jumpstart the economy and provide additional amelioration assistance to pandemic-affected Filipinos.

“CHED has released close to P300 million to 927 private schools to reduce the unpaid tuition and miscellaneous fees of their students so they can continue their studies,” De Vera said.

The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations expressed appreciation for the fi-nancial aid program.

“The timely government assistance to students in private higher education institutions through the Bayanihan 2 has complemented the efforts of the private higher education sector, particularly on innovation while also looking after the health and welfare of their students,” COCOPEA Managing Director Joseph Noel Estrada said.

“We therefore manifest our appreciation, confidence and support to the Commission on Higher Education on its many endeavors not only for ensuring the continuity of education but also in lay-ing down the plans in future-proofing quality higher education in the country with due recognition of the complementary role of the private sector,” Estrada added.

COCOPEA Chairperson Lourdes Almeda-Sese also commended the program that was imple-mented by CHED.

“What is commendable is the inclusion of all private HEIs in the country and its timely distribu-tion. It is my sincere belief that this partnership will be further strengthened in the years to come,” Sese, who is also the president of the St. Michael’s College of Laguna, said.

“SMCL received the check for its 53 students on 11 January 2021. Majority of these students have outstanding balances for the first semester, school year 2020-2021. The financial assis-tance you provided assured their continuity of studies and enrollment in the 2nd Semester,” she added.

De Vera thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and Congress “for listening to the plea of students during the Covid19 pandemic and for helping our affected students continue their studies.”