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Iskolar ng bayan! Palawan funds medical studies of 40 students

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PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan — Around 40 Palawan provincial government scholars are expected to enroll in medicine this year under the Programang Pang-edukasyon Para sa Palaweño (PPP) to later serve in the hospitals in the province.

Under IHELP (Infrastructure, Health, Education, Livelihood, and Protection of the Environment), the PPP will provide each of them PHP70,000 in financial assistance for tuition per semester for four years, said Provincial Information Officer Gil Acosta Jr. on Wednesday.

“Ang program ay isang pamamaraan ng administrasyon ni Governor Jose Alvarez na punuan ang kakulangan ng mga doctor na magbibigay ng maayos na serbisyong pang-kalusugan ng mga tao sa mga ospital na itinayo ng provincial government (The program is a way for the administration of Governor Jose Alvarez to address the lack of doctors that will provide health and medical services to the people through the hospitals constructed by the provincial government),” he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

If all 40 applicants pass the evaluation process of the provincial government, Acosta said they will be added to the 81 medical students granted scholarships under the PPP.

Each scholar who will pass the licensure examination for physicians will render services equivalent to the number of years the provincial government paid for their medical schooling.

“Kulang na kulang kasi talaga tayo ng doctor sa Palawan. Under the plan, dapat mapunuan ang kakulangan na ito sa human resource kasama na ang pagpapataas ng suweldo para maging competitive na para sa mga doctors (We really lack doctors in Palawan. Under the plan, we should cover for this scarcity, including making their salaries competitive),” he added.

He added the scholarship will continue, particularly because of the proposed House Bill No. 4580 of Palawan (1st District) Rep. Gil Acosta, which seeks to establish the “Western Philippines Medical Center” in the province.

The medical scholarship is also aligned with the goal of the administration of Governor Alvarez to construct 15 major hospitals in the far-flung areas of the province.

This year, two new hospitals opened in Palawan – in the municipalities of Narra and Brooke’s Point in the southern area. Three more are expected to start operating in the third quarter of the year.

Acosta said 10 of the current number of medical scholarship grantees by the provincial government have already graduated and now undergoing post-graduate internships.

They are Jakes Katherine Abad, Hanna Lei Gacott, Katherine Hernandez, Kenneth Libuit, Novy Lee Oblan, Marianne Aira Paed, Lois Tablazon, Emillie Grace Tombucon, John Mark Tuting, and Geemarlyn Omar.

Omar, who studied medicine at Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine (MHAMCM) in Cebu, said she is thankful to the provincial government for allowing her to become a beneficiary of the PPP scholarship grant.
“My journey at medical school would not have been a smooth-sailing one without the scholarship I received from the provincial government of Palawan. It has helped me and my family immensely,” she said.

“Rest assured that the success of my endeavor will always include giving back by serving my fellow Palaweños,” Omar said. (PNA)