Ilocos Norte seeks to be first PH province to offer free college education

Emphasizing the importance of access to higher education, Governor Imee Marcos announced that the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) will seek to provide free college education for the Ilocano youth.

“Ang pangarap ko bilang gobernador ay makapagbigay ng libreng college education… Free college is possible, and all poor but deserving students can graduate,” she said during her State of the Province Address (SOPA) on October 28.

The implementation of the said program will make Ilocos Norte as the first province in the Philippines to provide free college education.

“Daydi tatangko, ni Apo Presidente Ferdinand Marcos, nangi-libre iti high school, sapay koma ta siak nga anak na iti mangilibren to met iti kolehiyo!” she added. (‘Yung tatay ko, si Apo Presidente Ferdinand Marcos, nilibre ang high school, sana akong anak niya ang makakapaglibre ng kolehiyo!)

The governor revealed that PGIN, together with Mariano Marcos State University, will shoulder an estimate of P30 Million worth of school fees for less fortunate students.

“We and the Ilocano youth thank Governor Imee Marcos for the vision of providing free college education. Every Ilocano family dreams of having at least one member to finish college, and that goal will become possible through Ilocos Norte’s free college education,” said James Ceasar Ventura, Director of Ilocos Norte Youth Office (INYO).

He added that Governor Marcos has always been a firm believer that education is the key to improving the quality of lives of Ilocanos, especially those coming from low-income families.

Recently, INYO opened 5,000 slots for the ‘Asikaso ni Manang Imee Tuition-for-work Program’ which aims to provide financial assistance to students whose families were affected by super typhoon ‘Lawin.

More than 200 private college students, mostly children of farmers and fisher folks, already received P5,000.00 financial assistance.

For the present semester, at least 1,099 scholars are being sponsored by PGIN.

The Provincial Budget Office has allotted a total of P22 Million for the provincial government’s scholarship program for the year 2017.

Governor Marcos further assured the youth of PGIN’s assistance not only in providing access to college education but also in landing quality jobs in their own province.—(Jennifer T. Pambid, PGIN-CMO)