By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The application period for the Senior High School Voucher Program (SHSVP) for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 will start on June 29, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced Friday.
The announcement allayed fears that the SHSVP will be discontinued after Education Secretary Leonor Briones mentioned recently in a public briefing about an P8-billion fund reduction in DepEd’s budget for the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act fund, P1.7 billion of which comes from the SHSVP.
“DepEd would like to reassure the public of its commitment to continue with the program,” the agency said in a statement. “While this is a big challenge, we continue to pursue other funding to provide this aid as it is our learners’ right,” DepEd added.
Briones had already issued DepEd Order No. 16 s. of 2020 or the Guidelines on Eligibility and Application for the SHSVP for SY 2020-2021 to “provide details on the requirements, procedure, and schedule for voucher application.”
Aside from the start of voucher application period on June 29, among the important dates to remember include the deadline for creation of accounts on the Online Application Portal (OVAP) on July 22; deadline for submission of applications on OVAP on July 24; the posting of application results on OVAP and start of voucher redemption on August 14; and the deadline for submission of documentary requirements and voucher redemption on October 30.
DepEd noted that application for SHSVP will only be done via online, thus, “no manual application will be accepted.” Application via online is also free of charge. Applicants, DepEd said, are “highly discouraged” to submit multiple applications and these should be coursed through the OVAP. “DepEd shall not accept submissions of applications,” it added.
The SHSVP is an annual program of the DepEd which provides financial assistance to qualified Grade 10 completers who want to pursue their desired SHS education in private schools, state universities and colleges, and local universities and colleges.
DepEd reminded that learners who graduated in high school in 2015 or earlier, those incoming Grade 12 learners who were not part of the SHSVP in Grade 11, and non-Filipino learners are not eligible for the voucher program.