Twelve future allied health professionals of Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) Antipolo Campus are set to enjoy the Pre-Service Scholarship Program (PSSP), an initiative by the Department of Health (DOH) in which a package of support is guaranteed for the recipients’ entire college education.
A discussion between DOH and OLFU officials was recently held at OLFU Antipolo to officially introduce the recipients of the scholarship grant who are studying for their degrees under the College of Medical Laboratory Science (CMLS) and the College of Pharmacy (CoP).
To represent OLFU, Antipolo Campus Administrator Engr. Wilfredo Basilio, CMLS Dean Dr. Jose Jurel Nuevo and CoP Dean Olive de Vera, along with CoP Associate Dean Anbel Bautista, hosted a brief program on 13 October 2023, welcoming DOH representatives including Criselda Labrague and Jade Adrienne Nemis of DOH Calabarzon, and Rex Aycardo and Hermenegildo Caronan Jr. of the DOH Central Office.
Opening the event, the deans extended their gratitude to the DOH for selecting OLFU as one of its program grantees, and for especially picking students from CMLS and CoP as their new set of scholars.
“It is our pleasure to serve our youth and future scientists and future pharmacists,” said Dean Nuevo as he expressed his appreciation to the health officials present during the program.
On the same note, De Vera acknowledged the life-changing opportunity for the scholars “to finish college or to pursue their courses” with the said government assistance.
Both deans also conveyed to assist the government agency in maintaining the objectives of the program and with the hopes to increase the number of recipients from OLFU in the future.
All twelve scholars appeared during the discussion and official awarding comprising ten from the College of Medical Science Laboratory Science who are Maria Joycewin Faith Folgueras, April Rose Villena, Mhaica Cabanillas, Jeriel Capistrano, Blessy Anne Sofia Corpuz, Maria Angelica Dela Cruz, Marc Amiel La Rosa, Janella Krishna Liyab, Jessa Mae Servano, Jacqueline Moreno and two from the College of Pharmacy namely Geo Lagutan, and Marilou Ingreso.
In his special message, Engr. Basilio recognized the joint commitment to education between OLFU and DOH, describing the partnership “more than just a collaboration” but rather a “a promise to empower, and uplift aspiring minds.”
“May this partnership be a beacon of hope and a testament to the incredible teamwork we can make when we stand directed in the pursuit of knowledge,” added Basilio.
True enough, the scholarship package pledges all-inclusive support with comprehensive benefits unveiled by DOH representative Caronan covering tuition fees and allowances for books, uniform, transportation, and even the scholars’ board and lodging expenses.
When asked for the allotted budget per scholar, the health official reported that the program provides P1.1 million in financial support for the entire college and pre-board education of each grantee.
Discussing the purpose of the Pre-Service Scholarship Program, Caronan elaborated its rationale to serve aspiring medical and allied health professionals with priority given to “deserving students from Indigenous People (IPs),” those living in identified Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) or areas assessed with IP communities, and those who belong to the low-income localities.
As the scholars secure their professional licenses, they will have to render one year of service at the Department of Health (DOH) for every year of scholarship availed, championing immediate entry for healthcare workers in the country with promising compensation and benefits.
In an interview, Palawan native and first-year aspiring medical technologist Mhaica Cabanillas is confident that the scholarship of DOH paired with the topnotch instructional delivery of OLFU will help her secure the dream to become a medical scientist.
The state scholar also sees the opportunity to pursue higher education at OLFU Antipolo as a chance to challenge herself and prove her way to independence, shared Cabanillas who had stayed in Palawan for years until she kicked off for her college studies in Manila in August 2023.
Following the brief program, officials of DOH took a tour of OLFU Antipolo where they visited some of its state-of-the-art facilities that elevate education delivery at OLFU. PSSP requires that medical and health allied schools satisfy the stringent assessment of DOH to house their scholars. For this year, OLFU Antipolo is among only two institutional grantees determined to hone the state scholars in Calabarzon. – Raymond Lumagsao