Senior High School voucher applicants mount

Four days after the Department of Education (DepEd) opened the online application for the Senior High School Voucher Program (SHSVP), there are more than 40,000 applications received for the upcoming school year. 

DepEd Undersecretary Jesus Mateo confirmed to the Manila Bulletin that as of July 1, there are a total of 41,331 SHSVP applications submitted to the Online Voucher Application Portal (OVAP) at


While there is no cut-off for applications, Mateo said that the “the budget of P1 billion can only accommodate 65,000.” This, he explained, is only for new entry SHS or incoming Grade 11 learners. “They automatically become a recipient until Grade 12,” he added - citing the DO No. 16 s. 2020 or the or the “Guidelines on the Application for the Senior High School Voucher Program for School Year 2020-2021.”

DepEd has officially opened the online application for SHSVP on June 29. The application deadline is on July 24 but documents may be submitted until October 30. The posting of application results on OVAP and start of voucher redemption is on August 14.

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 Grade 10 completers of School Year (SY) 2019-2020 are “automatically qualified” for SHSVP, thus, they don’t need to apply. Automatic recipients are those from 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.

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, DepEd said, are not eligible for the voucher program.  

DepEd noted that for this year, the 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.

The SHS Program or Grades 11 and 12 is the additional two years in the country’s basic education system after shifting to the K to 12 system. During the two years of specialized upper secondary education, students may choose a specialization based on aptitude, interests, and school capacity.

The choice of career track will define the content of the subjects a student will take in Grades 11 and 12. Each student in Senior High School can choose among three tracks: Academic; Technical-Vocational-Livelihood; and Sports and Arts. The Academic track includes three strands: Business, Accountancy, Management (BAM); Humanities, Education, Social Sciences (HESS); and Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM).

Based on the national enrollment data of DepEd as of July 1, there are 1, 850, 275 SHS learners currently enrolled for School Year (SY) 2020-2021. Of this number, 1, 576, 665 are in public schools and 262, 4726 are 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.

Qualified SHSVP recipients will receive voucher amounts 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.