By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Amid uncertainties on the continuity of the annual subsidy for Grades 11 and 12 students this school year, the Department of Education (DepEd) opened the online application for the Senior High School Voucher Program (SHSVP) on Monday.
Application for the SHSVP can be submitted through the Online Voucher Application Portal (OVAP) at http://ovap.peac.org.ph. DepEd reminded the applicants that they have to prepare requirements for the SHSVP. “The application deadline is on July 24 but documents may be submitted until October 30,” DepEd said.
DepEd noted that there has been “some confusion” over whether or not the SHSVP will continue this school year after Education Secretary Leonor Briones mentioned in a public briefing a Php 8-Billion fund reduction or P1.7B coming from the SHS Voucher Program of the DepEd for the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act fund.
Meanwhile, DepEd reminded Grade 10 students of School Year (SY) 2019-2020 are “automatically qualified” for SHSVP, thus, they don’t need to apply. Automatic recipients are those from DepEd public schools, from State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs), and those who are Education Service Contracting (ESC) grantees from private schools.
The SHSVP is an annual program of the DepEd which provides financial assistance to qualified Grade 10 students 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 high school in 2015 or earlier, those incoming Grade 12 learners who were not part of the SHS VP in Grade 11 and non-Filipino learners are not eligible for the voucher program.
As cited in the DepEd Order No. 16, series of 2020 or the “Guidelines on the Application for the Senior High School Voucher Program for School Year 2020-2021” SHS voucher amounts are as follows (depending on the category): P22,500; P18,000; and P11,500 in the National Capital Region (NCR). In Non-NCR highly urbanized cities (HUCs), vouchers amount to Php 20,000; Php 16,000; and Php 10,000. In other locations, vouchers amount to Php 17,500; Php 14,000; and Php 8,750.
Based on the national enrollment data of DepEd as of June 29, there are 1, 664, 937 SHS learners enrolled for School Year (SY) 2020-2021. Of which, 1, 446, 889 are in public schools and 211, 473 in private schools.
In SY 2019-2020, data from DepEd showed there are 3, 194, 035 learners in SHS for both public and private schools.
For this SY, DepEd noted that application for SHSVP will only be done via online and that there will be “no manual application will be accepted.” While application is for free, DepEd discourages applicants from sending to submit multiple applications. DepEd also reminded applications for SHSVP should be coursed through the OVAP since it “not accept submissions of applications.”
DepEd said that posting of application results on OVAP and start of voucher redemption is on August 14.