Issue of September 10, 2017
Mt. Province

69th Courier Anniversary Issue
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LT Council asks BSU to open medicine course for CAR studes
by Ofelia C. Empian

The La Trinidad Municipal Council has asked Benguet State University to consider opening a medical degree program.

In a resolution, the town council, through the motion of councilors Roderick Awingan and Henry Kipas said the 100 year-old university can “take a cue” from the success of its College of Nursing which is nationally recognized due to its outstanding achievements.

“The offering of medical degree course by BSU will surely attract and encourage a number of prospective enrollees especially from Benguet province if not from the entire (Cordillera) region to venture into medical profession,” the resolution stated.

The resolution states that the opening of medicine course by BSU would also spell hope of lesser financial cost as compared with private institutions offering such degree.

“The Cordillera is a host to just one educational institution that offers medical degree program (which is the Saint Louis University in Baguio). Financially, prospective enrollees are burdened with the high cost of medical education which limits the number of enrollees to this particular program,” the resolution reads.

“The production of physicians who are molded with the values of an educational institution committed to excellence and service to people will surely boost the medical and health care needs of the general public,” it added.

Last June, the Commission on Higher Education announced that incoming and currently enrolled students in public medical schools could study for free through the cash grants to medical students enrolled in state universities and colleges beginning this academic year, 2017-2018. It identified eight SUCs nationwide, offering medicine courses, as recipients of the P317.1 million allocation from the country’s 2017 national budget.

The move by the Duterte administration was done to fill up the continuing lack of medical doctors in the country due to high cost of medical education, overseas migration and brain drain.

Moreover, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Benguet passed an ordinance aiming to provide study now pay later scheme for medical students in the province.

The proposed ordinance, said author Board Member Juan Nazarro, Jr., is anchored in the 1991 Local Government Code and Republic Act 8545 or the “Expanded Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education.”

“The province of Benguet is concerned about the different health problems and the lack of medical practitioners coming from the province due to a common reason which is the lack of financial capacity to pursue the study of Doctor of Medicine,” Nazarro said.

The ordinance shall provide one grantee per year and per municipality under the general fund of each year.

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