Some 200 scholars are expected to be part of the 2020 Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) scholarship by the Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) in the upcoming opening of classes.
Venice Teresa Guian, community relations and SDMP supervisor said that the scholarship covers elementary to college students from its eleven impact barangays.
“Nasa around 200 scholars from college, high school and elementary. Mas mataas this school year, may additional kaming barangays na nag-allot. Kaya siya malaki tingnan before kasi combined pa si RTN at CBNC (Coral Bay Nickel Corporation) kaya pumapalo kami sa 800. Since 2019, nag-separate na si RTN at CBNC, nag-start kami sa scratch,” she said.
She said that the number of scholars in every barangay depends on their budget allotment for education to be supported by SDMP funds.
She stated that many impact barangays consisting of indigenous peoples have allotted larger budgets for education programs from the SDMP fund.
Guian said that they are done with the providing examination, screening, and interview. She added that they are now doing evaluations of the applicants and will post the names of qualified students anytime soon.
“Posting na lang kung sino ‘yong mga talagang magiging scholars ni RTN. Ilalabas namin siya by Monday and we will schedule our orientation and MOA signing sa first week ng August,” she said.
She expressed hope that the chosen scholars would exert their efforts to improve their studies with the help of the mining firm.
She added that the community organizers (CO) of the community relations department will assist the scholars in the areas they assist to help them cope with the new situation and still encourage them to continue their studies.
The qualified scholars may benefit from the monthly allowance provided by the company with a minimum of P3,000 and a maximum of P7,000 which depends on the allotment of barangays.
“Ang difference lang, kasi kung sa Manila medyo kritikal lumabas ang mga estudyante na pumasok so nandon yong pangamba na baka magkaroon ng COVID. Unlike dito sa situation namin, may mga area na hindi ganon ka-critical. Nagwo-worry din sila sa mga gastusin, sa elementary kasi nag-decide na face-to-face talaga unlike sa high school na modular,” she said.