AGRICULTURE students of the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) will enjoy more opportunities for government scholarships after university President Dr. Eldigario D. Gonzales signed a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Land Reform (DLR) which re-affirmed the implementation of the President Diosdado Macapagal Agrarian Scholarship Program (PDMASP).
Dr. Gonzales, who signed the MOA in his capacity as president of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC), said the agreement “will ensure that the campuses of every member-school of (PASUC) that enrolled PDMASP grantees will provide a secure and safe physical environment and will be conducive to learning and promoting excellent academic performance.” He expressed PASUC’s “whole hearted support for its implementation.”
An agrarian scholar is entitled to free tuition fee, book allowances for each semester and a modest monthly stipend.
Land Reform Secretary Rene Villa is signing for DLR said the program was launched last school year and, now in its second year, has some , 1,797 students all over the country as grantees. He explained that PDMASP “is a pecial program of the DLR designed to provide qualified dependents of agrarian reform beneficiaries an opportunity to enroll and complete an agri-related college degree with the assistance of the government.”
The program will interface with the improvement of land tenure of DLR, the agency said in a press release. It said the scholarship program is meant to empower the rural population for them to assume greater responsibility for their development through greater self-reliance. It seeks to elevate the educational status of the farmers if they areto be seriously considered as future managers and leaders in the development of their respective communities, it further said.
Former president Diosdado Macapagal, who was a farmer, signed the first agrarian reform law in 1963, called the Agricultural Land Reform Code. (Rey-Luis Banagudos – Public Affairs Office, WMSU)