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Licuanan explains cause of delay in release of allowances to CHED scholars

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Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Patricia Licuanan said only 4,096 faculty scholars under the local scholarships are experiencing delays in the release of living allowances, clarifying earlier reports that 9,500 scholars have been affected.

“We in CHED deeply regret the impact the delays has caused our scholars,” said Licuanan. “But it is important to understand the factors that contributed to these delays: among them, discrepancies and deficiencies in documents, the volume of documentation that required thorough vetting following initial audit, and the need to abide with government accounting and auditing rules, which we, as an agency, also had to comply with,” she said.

As of Jan. 11, the Commission has fully released allowances for 2,051 scholars who have submitted complete documentary requirements, an ongoing effort since November 2017 following the resumption of the processing of allowances after the COA Notices of Suspension were issued.

The Commission has also approved the partial release of living allowances for 1,011 scholars with valid contracts and enrolment forms, despite pending requirements.

The balance will be released to these scholars upon submission of remaining documents to the CHED Regional Offices. Meanwhile, 933 scholars will receive no allowances due to non-submission of enrollment forms.

“We request our scholars with pending documentary submissions to please submit the remaining requirements to the CHED Regional Offices at the soonest possible time so that we can facilitate the release of allowances to our remaining grantees,” said the CHED Chairperson.

“The Commission has not stopped in its review and improvement of current systems since the program began in 2016. In fact, refinements have been integrated into the system regularly following each semester, to reduce potential errors and causes of delays,” said Licuanan.

The K to 12 Transition Program began in 2016 to prevent the massive displacement of higher education faculty and staff, as a result of lesser workloads in colleges and universities due to the implementation of Senior High School (SHS), while upgrading the quality of higher education.

“Yes, there have been challenges, but we hope the public also sees what the Program has achieved as a whole: apart from the scholarships, CHED is also supporting 307 faculty members undergoing industry immersion, trained 3,792 college faculty for the new and enhanced curriculum, trained 6,494 teachers for Senior High School, developed 17 cutting-edge graduate programs with the top universities in the United Kingdom, awarded 201 institutional grants for colleges and universities, and 163 grants for research and extension, among others.”

Licuanan also denounced malicious allegations of corruption and mismanagement of funds allotted for the living allowances and other grants under the program.

“It has been my personal commitment to stamp out corruption in CHED since day one, despite the odds. We have implemented the Program with the highest level of ethical stewardship. Every peso is accounted for,” she said.