Issue of January 10, 2021
     
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‘Doktor para sa Bayan’ now a law
by Press release

A bill that grants medical scholarships to deserving students that aspire to become doctors is now a law.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11509, also known as the Medical Scholarship and Return Service Program Act, or the Doktor Para sa Bayan Act.

RA 11509 will establish a scholarship program that prioritizes applicants from municipalities without government physicians, according to Baguio City Rep. Mark Go, one of the authors and chair of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education.

Go said under the new law, scholars are required to finish the Doctor of Medicine program within a prescribed time frame, and will serve in their hometowns in a return service program. The length of return service shall be equivalent to the graduates’ years under the scholarship grant.

The law will cover tuition and other school fees, allowance for books, equipment, and uniforms, dormitory and transportation costs, internship fees, as well as medical board review and licensure fees. Scholars will also receive annual medical insurance and other education-related subsistence or living allowances.

Go said RA 11509 is a landmark law that is crucial in strengthening the country’s healthcare system as it aims to produce at least one doctor for each municipality.

Go said the signing of the new law was a welcome and timely development as the country continues to face the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added under the new law, taking up medicine is no longer a far-fetched dream for underprivileged yet deserving students, who wish to rise above their circumstances and serve their respective communities.


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