DA 8 promotes anew ACEF Scholarship to agri students in EV

Sogod, Southern Leyte - Geared towards strengthening the advocacy on the implementation of the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) Scholarship Program, the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 8 (DA RFO 8) spearheaded the Training Workshop for Agricultural Extension Workers, State Universities and Colleges (SUC) Partners and Agriculture Students cum ACEF Orientation on September 5, 2017 at the Southern Leyte State University (SLSU)-Bontoc Campus. 
DA 8 Asst. Reg'l Dir. Elvira Torres presents the details of the ACEF Scholarship Program for agriculture students in Eastern Visayas at SLSU-Bontoc, Bontoc, Southern Leyte. 
Representing Dr. Dewoowoogen P. Baclayon, Dean of SLSU-Bontoc, Dr. Webel Glenn C. Dublado, Associate Dean of the said institution welcomed the participants to the said orientation. “As a growing nation, we have to make our supply of food stable. One method is to increase the number of farmers who are innovative that will make agricultural production efficient. For us to be developed, we have to train scholars to become agricultural technocrats and experts,” he averred. 

DA RFO 8’s Assistant Regional Director for Research & Regulations and ACEF Scholarship Regional Coordinator, Elvira C. Torres laid out the overview of the program in front of the scholars and faculty of the institution. 

Republic Act 9496 created the ACEF Scholarship utilizing 10% of the ACEF fund allocation. It was stipulated in the act that said “ten percent (10%) to be used to for the funding of a comprehensive scholarship program for agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and veterinary medicine education.” ARD Torres also shared that the scholarship program is intended for incoming college, post-secondary, and/or returning students enrolled in any SUCs, TESDA and private institutions. 

The student must be in need of financial assistance and must not be a recipient of any government scholarship grants of similar nature. 

Further, ARD Torres encouraged the scholars to organize themselves and form an organization. “It has to start with the group and love for the group to maintain camaraderie and support not only in this particular time but onwards,” ARD Torres underscored. 

In Eastern Visayas, almost 326 students have already availed of this scholarship, in fact, some have already graduated from different SUCs in the region. 

These scholars were able to avail free tuition for BS in Agriculture, BS in Fishery Technology, BS in Forestry, BS in Agricultural Education and Doctor in Veterinary Medicine, among others. This was learned in the presentation of Ms Jessa Faye E. Macapañas, ACEF Region 8 Secretariat. 

The participants were also oriented on the programs and services of the DA and updates on the pressing issue on Avian Influenza or Bird Flu. The said orientation will also be conducted in SLSU-Hinunangan, Visayas State University-Alangalang & Villaba, Northwest Samar State University-Calbayog City and Tacloban City. (Ruby Calesterio, Francis Rosaroso)
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