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REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7687

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7687  - AN ACT INSTITUTING A SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM AND OTHER PURPOSES
 


Section 1.    Title. — This Act shall be known as the "Science and Technology Scholarship Act of 1994".

Sec. 2.    Statement of Policy. — Science and technology are essential for national development and progress.  The State shall give priority to research and development, invention, innovation and their utilization; and to science and technology education, training and services.

In line with the above, it is hereby declared the policy of the State to promote the development of the country's science and technology manpower in line with economic development and to provide the capability required in the areas of research, development, innovation as well as their utilization.  As such, it shall provide for scholarships, grants-in-aid, or other forms of incentives to deserving science students and other specially-gifted citizens to enable them to pursue higher education or training in areas of science and technology.

Sec. 3.    General Objectives. — To carry out the foregoing policy, this Act strengthens the country's science and technology manpower by creating a pool of scientists, engineers and technicians who shall fill the needs of industrialization. Towards this end, scholarships shall be provided to finance the education of poor, talented and deserving students desiring to pursue a degree or training in areas of science and technology as are recognized or permitted by law.

Sec. 4.    Science and Technology Scholarship Fund. — There is hereby created a Science and Technology Scholarship Fund, hereinafter known as the Fund, to be administered by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Sec. 5.    Appropriations. — The amount necessary to carry out the initial implementation of this Act, shall be charged against the current Fiscal Year Appropriations of the DOST.

In order to provide funds necessary for the continuous implementation of the program for every year following its initial implementation, the budget of the DOST shall be increased in the amount of Sixty million pesos (P60M) per year until it eventually reaches the amount of Three hundred million pesos (P300M) to sustain the recipients of the scholarship during the duration of their study.

Sec. 6.    Coverage. — The grant of any scholarship award from the Fund shall be applied only in the field of science, mathematics, engineering, and such other areas in the undergraduate or postgraduate courses as may be provided for in the rules and regulations to be promulgated by the DOST and the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS): provided, however, that the scholarship grant for the postgraduate level shall not be limited to those scholars or recipients who are graduates of the undergraduate scholarship program.

Sec. 7.    Assistance to Grantees. — The grantee of the scholarship program under this Act is entitled to financial assistance which may include tuition and other school fees, outright grant for prescribed textbooks and essential school supplies, outright grant for prescribed military science and physical education uniform, transportation expenses and monthly living allowance: provided, however, that in the granting of financial assistance, the availability of funds, purchasing power of the peso and rate of financial assistance given under other government scholarship programs must be considered.

Sec. 8.    Qualifications. — In order to qualify for the scholarship program, the applicant must be:

a)    a member of the top five percent (5%) of the high school graduating class, regardless of gender, religion, and cultural affiliation;

b)    a resident of the municipality for the last four (4) years prior to availing of the scholarship, as attested by the school records; and

c)    of good moral character and in good health.

Sec. 9.    Value Formation Program. — The scholarship program under this Act shall be supported by appropriate courses for value formation of scholars that will inculcate in them the virtues of nationalism, industriousness, honesty, commitment to national development and an effective work ethic.

SECTION 10.    Distribution of Scholarship Slots. — The DOST in line with this Act shall provide for a proportional and equitable allotment of slots for identified fields of science and technology to attain a balanced distribution of manpower in terms of number and expertise.  The DOST shall organize a program geared towards enlisting at least two (2) scholars in each municipality of the Philippines and at least ten (10) scholars for those congressional districts without municipality.  Qualified members of the cultural minority in appropriate cases shall be given due preference.

SECTION 11.    Place of Study in the Country. — The recipient of the scholarship privileges under this Act shall be required to pursue their degree program and/or the vocational, technical, or other courses specified under this Act at any academic or training institutions duly accredited by the DECS and the DOST and in private schools accredited by Federation of Accrediting Agencies in the Philippines (FAAP). 

Refusal or failure to comply with this provision shall be ground for disqualification from the Program.

SECTION 12.    Place of Study Outside the Home Country. — The scholarship grant provided herein shall not be limited to studying only in any school in this country but would include scholars who can be granted the opportunity to study abroad in schools specializing in courses stated therein: provided, however, that a grantee who has qualified for study abroad must execute an undertaking binding himself to return to the country to fulfill his service obligation on the basis of the length of his scholarship. The Department of Foreign Affairs is hereby directed to give full assistance in enforcing such undertaking.

SECTION 13.    Service Obligation. — Immediately upon completion of a Bachelor of Science course, a scholar shall serve the country on full-time basis only along his field of training for a minimum period equivalent to the length of time a scholar enjoyed the scholarship by rendering service to his province or municipality by organizing technology-based livelihood activities or enterprises, teaching, or such other service related to the course or training he has completed, and, for this purpose, requiring the execution of a contract between the Government and the scholar incorporating the details of the said service obligation.

Any recipient of the program who has not completed his course shall render service to the country equivalent to the number of years he enjoyed the scholarship.

For the purpose stated in paragraph 1 of this Section, government banks, financial institutions, and appropriate agencies shall provide priority access to credit, research and development facilities, support programs and other assistance to graduate scholars under this Act where the same may be sound and viable.

Any scholar who violates the service obligation imposed under this section shall be liable to reimburse the Government of the fund assistance received under this Act in full or pro tanto as the case may be.

SECTION 14.    Post Scholarship Incentives. — In order to encourage graduates of the scholarship program under this Act to serve in fulfillment of their service obligation and entice them to continue to stay and serve in the country even beyond their service obligation, they shall be entitled to the following incentives:

a)    priority for job placement in the Government or in the private sector in positions appropriate to their area of education or training;

b)    grants-in-aid and access to government research facilities in the conduct of research and development projects and other service and technology activities;

c)    access to credit with liberal terms from government banks and financial institutions;

d)    payment of hardship and/or hazard allowance to those who are engaged in research and other science and technology activities that posed danger and caused hardship to their well-being; and

e)    travel and accident insurance coverage.

SECTION 15.    Advisory Committee. — There is hereby created a committee composed of the Secretary of Science and Technology as Chairman, and the Secretaries or Heads of the following departments or agencies or their chosen representatives as members:  Education, Culture and Sports; Budget and Management; Agriculture; Trade and Industry; Interior and Local Government; Finance and the National Economic and Development Authority; and two (2) representatives from the private sector one (1) of whom shall come from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and one (1) from other sectors.  

To ensure the effective coordination of the program, said body shall act in an advisory capacity in its implementation.

SECTION 16.    Implementing Body. — The scholarship program herein provided shall be directly implemented by the DOST through the Science Education Institute.

SECTION 17.    Rules and Regulations. — Within thirty (30) days from the approval of this Act, the DOST in joint collaboration with the DECS shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the provisions thereof.

SECTION 18.    Transitory Provisions. — Within sixty (60) days from effectivity of this Act, existing state colleges and universities and private schools with curriculum offerings on science and technology shall ipso facto be deemed accredited.

SECTION 19.    Repealing Clause. — All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations, or portions thereof, inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Sec. 20.    Separability Clause. — In the event any of the provisions of this Act is declared unconstitutional, the validity of the other provisions shall not be affected by such declaration.  

Sec. 21.    Effectivity. — This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved: March 2, 1994

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