The provincial government showcased the success of its SPS Alay sa Kabataan Programang Pang-Edukasyon para sa Palaweño as 85 individuals have now become fully-fledged doctors serving in various hospitals it is managing.

These Palaweños pursued medicine courses in different universities nationwide and successfully completed them with the SPS Alay sa Kabataan’ assistance.

The Provincial Information Office (PIO) said they all passed the Physician Licensure Examination from 2018 to 2024.

Among them, seven passed in the 1st batch in November 2018; eight passed in the 2nd batch in September 2019; four passed in the 3rd batch in September 2020; 11 passed in the 4th batch in November 2020; three passed in the 5th batch in March 2021, three also passed in the 7th batch in November 2021; seven passed in the 8th batch in March 2022; seven also passed in the 9th batch in October 2022; 11 passed in the 10th batch in March 2023; 13 passed in October 2023; and 10 passed in the 12th batch in April 2024.

Most are currently serving in the 16 hospitals managed by the provincial government across Palawan municipalities as part of their service commitment, which equals the number of years they received the scholarship.

PIO said this is in accordance with the agreement they signed, designated by the province as scholars.

Some of them have completed their return of service commitment as scholars and are currently undergoing residency or Graduate Medical Education (GME) Program to prepare for their specialization.

Meanwhile, others have chosen to continue serving the people of Palawan as doctors.

They have become permanent or regular employees of the Provincial Government, continuing their service in various hospitals across municipalities.

The scholarship program started in 2014 with its primary goal being to assist deserving students who aspire to finish medicine and other medical-related courses.

The continuation of this scholarship program is driven by Governor Dennis Socrates’s aim to further strengthen the health sector in the province.

PIO stated that this is achieved by having additional medical professionals who will serve in hospitals established by the province in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH).

The scholarship program continues following the approval of Provincial Ordinance No. 2627 series of 2021, ensuring a multi-year budget allocation of ₱50,000,000 per year.

Currently, there are a total of 1,004 medical scholars, with 158 of them taking up medicine courses, while eight 846 are enrolled in various medical-related courses such as nursing (573); dentistry (45); medical technology (126); pharmacy (31); nutrition and dietetics (1); radiologic technology (13); physical therapy (3); occupational therapy (1); midwifery (41); optometry (2), and masteral (10) in different universities nationwide.