SANTA RITA, Pampanga – At least 704 Aeta scholars studying from different schools, colleges, and state universities in the province received a total amount of grants worth P1,930,000 from the Provincial Government of Pampanga through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO).
Specifically, 658 Aeta students from junior and senior high school received P 2,500 each with a total of P 1,645,000 while 46 college students get cash assistance ranging from P 5,000-10,000, totaling to P 255,000.
Governor Lilia “Nanay” Pineda led the distribution together with PSWDO head Elizabeth Baybayan, Mayor Ferdinand Salalila, and Board Member Olga Frances David-Dizon.
In her message, Governor Pineda told the Aeta students not to be intimidated by their “unat” schoolmates. She also emphasized the importance of success attained through education.
“Do not be shy when facing your ‘unat’ brothers and sisters. You are all Filipinos and Kapampangans. What is important is that you are all studying and working hard. Do not be intimidated,” she said.
She also said that the provincial government will assist the graduating Aeta students in seeking for their first job.
Melody Infante Austria from Babo Sacan village here thanked the governor for giving them the gift of education.
The education major graduate confessed that it is a problem getting to college for Aeta students and that the provincial government changed their educational situation.
“Pagtuntong po talaga ng college, problema po talaga kung saan kami kukuha ng pang-tuition. Sa tulong po ni Nanay Gob, nabawasan po yung burden po namin sa paggastos. Mas nakakapagfocus po kami sa pag-aaral at pagkamit ng mga pangarap namin,” she said.
She also adviced her fellow Aeta scholars to be diligent in studying and keep on working for their dreams in order to be successful.
“Mag-aral nang mabuti, pagpursigihin ang mga pangarap at huwag mong ikahiya kung saan ka nanggaling,” she added. –PHILIP OCAMPO • PIO PAMPANGA