The President Rodrigo Duterte is being urged to sign the Congress-approved Doctor Scholarship PH into law next month. This so sufficient funding could be provided for next year’s national budget in order to assure the early implementation of the scholarship, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto stated on Oct. 25, Sunday.
The Senate President also said that he is planning to dedicate the Doctor Scholarship PH to the former barrio-doctor turned health Senator Juan Flavier by naming the scholarship after him. Juan Flavier was the one who pushed for the Doctors to the Barrios (DTTB) program as Secretary of Health before he was elected to the Senate in the 1990s.
DTTB Program Implementation
The Department of Health (DOH) implemented the DTTB program in the year 1993 as to address the insufficiency of doctors practicing in rural communities throughout the country.
However, Recto said that the budget for the scholarship will not be cut.
But before we attach his great name to a great program, let us first make sure that the law’s maiden year of implementation is not marked by a budget cut,” the senator said. This is due to Malacañang’s proposal to cut off this year’s P167 million financial subsidy to 1,789 medical scholars by half which will only amount to P83.5 million next year – as proposed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in the 2021 budget bill.
Later Budget Release for Students
He reiterated that even worse than the proposal is the impounded “later release” of this year’s P167 million stipend to medical students in eight different state universities. Among these universities are the Bicol University, Cagayan State University, Mariano Marcos State University, Mindanao State University, University of Northern Philippines, UP Manila College of Medicine, UP Manila School of Health Sciences, and Western Visayas State University.
So embargoed ngayon; cut bukas.”
In Translation: So, embargoed today, cut tomorrow.
Moreover, he reminded that the Doctor Scholarship PH in eight SUCs is but one of the tracks the Congress-approved bill creates in producing doctors whose services are vital to different provinces, of which only 25 out of 81 have enough public doctors. 1,142 scholars in different medical schools last year are fellow scholars in another program run by the DOH.
The senator indicated that under their contract, “they shall repay their state-granted tuition and allowances by serving in rural areas” after passing the board examinations.
So more or less, the CHED and DOH tracks have a combined 3,000 beneficiaries. [Let’s increase this] by including financially-challenged but academically excelling medicine students in private schools.
More Notable Filipino Doctors
Recto is claiming that there are more names and people in the Philippine doctor constellations that we can choose from.
There are other names in the constellation of Filipino MD greats to choose from. It could be named after Dr. Bobby de la Paz, while another region could be renamed in memory of Dr. Fe del Mundo, a Harvard-trained pediatrician who went home to serve Filipinos for 80 years.”
Aside from late Senator Juan Flavier. For instance, he suggested the Eastern Visayas scholarship; these are the people we could identify as greats.
De la Paz, on the other hand was a UP-PGH trained doctor who left a potentially lucrative big city practice for Samar, where he ran primary health-care programs until he was assassinated inside his Catbalogan clinic in April 1982.
Many Doctors, Not Just COVID-19 Heroes
Recto stated that even among Covid-19 heroes, “there are lots of names in the honor roll to choose from.” Adding that naming scholarship programs “after people who distinguished themselves in a profession is done in many countries,” Recto reminded, however, that “unlike the Fulbright scholarship in the US and the Rhodes in England, our medical scholarship will not be named after benefactors, but after Filipino role models.”
So, if you are someone who’s fighting to have some type of scholarship, this might intrigue you. Many aspiring doctors aren’t able to get their fair share because of the fact that they don’t have the budget for it.
But, with this scholarship, a lot of people, especially aspiring in the field can have the chance.
What about you? What is your opinion or take on this scholarship plan? Moreover, do you think that the Doctor Scholarship PH would be something that can boost our country’s medicinal professionals?
Would it be beneficial for doctors to-be and wannabes? Or would regular scholarships and study programs be better and more useful for them?
Source: Business Mirror PH