City of San Fernando, Pampanga— A total of 314,410 students and teachers in Central Luzon received financial subsidy under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) and the Senior High School Voucher Program for the School Year 2018-2019.
The Senior High School Voucher Program, with a total allotment of 2.8 billion pesos for SY 2018-2019, supported a total of 174,496 Grade 11 and 12 students enrolled in 619 non-DepEd senior high schools in Central Luzon.
For SY 2019-2020, a total of 6,657 incoming Grade 11 students in Central Luzon qualified as Voucher Program Beneficiaries (VPBs). Furthermore, 91,397 incoming Grade 12 students who were previously SHS VPBs when they were in Grade 11 will continue receiving the financial subsidy.
1.2 billion pesos of government funds benefitted 132,552 Education Service Contracting (ESC) grantees across twenty divisions made up of 39,892 ESC grantees from the grade 7; 33, 873 from grade 8; 30, 891 from grade 9 students; and 27,896 grade 10 students.
In addition to this, the amount of 124 million pesos was allotted to support a total of 6,961 private school teachers through the Teachers Salary Subsidy (TSS). Qualified TSS beneficiaries must have a valid PRC license or pass the Licensure Exam for Teachers (LET) by October of the current school year, a full-time employee in the JHS, and teaching a subject in the DepEd Curriculum for JHS at least 180 minutes a week.
The Open High School Program (OHS), a program aimed at further decongesting the public schools, was established in Cabanatuan City and Olongapo City, the two densest divisions in Central Luzon. 289 students from the NE Dominican School of Cabanatuan City received an amount of 2.5 million pesos which paved the way for the studies and other academic needs of eighty (80) grade 7 students, sixty-four grade 8 students, seventy-one grade 9 students and seventy-four tenth graders.
Additionally, 112 students from the Saint Joseph College in Olongapo City became beneficiaries for the open high school program with nineteen coming from grade seven, another nineteen from eight grade, twenty-seven from grade nine and forty-seven tenth graders.
These financial subsidies to students and teachers in private schools are mandated under Republic Act (RA) 6728 called the GASTPE Act, which was amended by RA 8545 known as the Expanded GASTPE (E-GASTPE) Act. E-GASTPE was further expanded by RA 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 to cover senior high school.