Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Commission on Higher Education and State and representatives of State Colleges and Universities (SCUs) in the country for a scholarship program funded by the Office of the Vice President (OVP).

The study grant program, dubbed “The 2011 Vice President Grant-in-Aid Program,” will provide educational assistance to 10 scholars for each of the 109 SUCs in the country. The OVP has allocated P10 million under the 2011 Priority Development Assistance Fund for the program.

Under the grant, the OVP will provide P9,000 to each scholar per school year.

The MOA was signed by the Vice President, CHED chair Patricia B. Licuanan and representatives of the different SCUs. The signing was witnessed by CHED commissioners Dr. Nona S. Ricafort and Dr. William C. Medrano, OVP Chief of Staff Usec. Benjamin E. Martinez, and OVP Assistant Chief of Staff Asec. Rosalie R. Licauco.

In his speech during the signing, the Vice President said the OVP aims to assist underprivileged but deserving public and private high school students through the provision of scholarship grants to pursue higher education.

“We will give priority to those who will be enrolling in priority courses such as priority courses such as Agriculture, Education, Commerce (Entrepreneurship), Engineering, and Information Technology,” he said.

Binay added that the 2011 Vice President Grant-in-Aid Program was an expansion of the scholarship program he implemented in Makati wherein he gave scholarship grants to the University of the Philippines (UP) to graduates of public high schools in Makati who passed the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT).

“Next school year we will double the number of scholars from 10 to 20,” Binay said.

Binay said that he was pleased there are still a lot of the youth who believed that education is the key to improving one’s social status.

“I am proof of this,” Binay said. “With adequate education, the youth are indeed the hope of the nation,” he added.