By Philippine News Agency
Some 305 graduating scholars of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Calabarzon from various state universities and colleges (SUCs) in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon were feted during the “First Exit Conference” and briefed on what to do after graduation.
Dr. Lydia Manguiat, DOST Calabarzon Assistant Regional Director for Technical Operations did not bid farewell to the graduands but rather welcomed them back as she hopes the DOST scholarship has helped and encouraged the beneficiaries to share their services to the country.
At the exit conference held April 14 at the Splash Mountain Resort’s Mariang Makiling ballroom here, Manguiat briefed the graduands on the DOST-Science Education Institute (SEI) policies on service obligation, necessary request for either temporary or final clearances and travel requirements.
Under the scholarship grant policy, the scholar-graduates are required to work in a government agency, local company, or non-government organization (NGO) for a period equivalent to the duration of their scholarship coverage.
The participants were also briefed on other DOST-SEI scholarships, which include Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program (ASTHRDP); Engineering Research for Development and Technology (ERDT); and Capacity Building Program in Science and Mathematics Education for the Master in Science and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) S&T scholarships.
Department of Education (DepEd) Executive Assistant Susan Anne Quirante presented the hiring arrangement for the DOST-SEI scholar-graduates through Republic Act 10612, which exempts them from the DepEd regular evaluation process for teacher-applicants in Senior High School (SHS), as endorsed by DOST-SEI.
Some of the DepEd incentives for the DOST-SEI include a Special Science Teacher I position, priority job placement, one-time relocation allowance if not assigned in permanent residence, and teaching opportunity for those who have not acquired Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) eligibility – provided that they will pass the LET exam within five years from the date of hiring.
Jerry Sanguilosa, a former DOST scholar for his undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate degrees, reminisced the time when a UPLB volunteer goaded him to take the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) and DOST scholarship exam.
He said he did pass the UPCAT but was constrained to enter college due to financial problem until a DOST scholarship made his college education possible.
“A DOST scholar means not just studying for himself but also for the country. It also means not only fulfilling his dreams but also fulfilling the dreams of his countrymen,” Sanguilosa said as he underscored “poverty is not forever for as long as one uses his/her God-given talents and experiences to progress in life.”
Engr. Mark Anthony Francia, another DOST scholar now working in a private firm after earning a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree at UPLB, shared to the present crop of scholars his personal experiences on how to be tough amid the challenges, to validate authority and be wise to look for opportunities for career growth upon graduation.
Lyn A. Fernandez, a DOST scholar for her undergraduate studies at the Batangas State University and master’s degree at the Ateneo de Manila University, shared how she heaved a sigh of relief when her parents were freed from worrying about the tuition fees and allowance.
Now the head of the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) unit of the DOST Calabarzon, Fernandez said the S&T scholarship instilled in her the love of country and inspired her to pay back her services to the government after graduation.
She also invited the scholars to “work in the country and don’t let foreign countries take advantage of your local talent and skills,” as the scholarship stimulates the interest of young Filipinos to venture into science and technology education and contribute to national progress.
Fernandez’s work at the DOST-SETUP unit provides her the opportunity to be part of the DOST’s flagship program on S&T strategy, which aims to encourage and assist Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to adopt technology innovations to improve their operations; and boost productivity and competitiveness.