The University of the Philippines welcomed its newest batch of Oblation Scholars to its ranks in a virtual ceremony on September 3, 2020 via Zoom, Facebook, and TVUP’s official YouTube channel. Oblation Scholarships are awarded to the top 50 freshman qualifiers based on their UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) scores and University Predicted Grades (UPG). Of these scholars, 43 chose programs in UP Diliman, while 7 chose programs in UP Manila.
The current batch of scholars was chosen from among 66,203 UPCAT takers on October 19, 2019. 29 of them have already proceeded with their enrolment for academic year (AY) 2020-2021.
The ceremony began with UP President Danilo L. Concepcion greeting the 2020 batch of scholars in his opening remarks. “Kalakip ng pagiging Iskolar ng Bayan ay ang karagdagang allowance at suporta para matugunan ang inyong mga pangangailangan sa pag-aaral ngayong panahon ng COVID-19,” (Lumped together with being dubbed “Iskolar ng Bayan” will be allowances and support to help you meet your educational needs in the age of COVID-19) Concepcion said. He reminded the scholars to always be mindful of their responsibilities and the fact that their education is subsidized by the Filipino people, while assuring them of the University’s constant support in transitioning to remote learning starting this academic year.
In her remarks, Vice President for Academic Affairs Cynthia Rose Bautista walked the scholars through the changes they can expect to see for the upcoming academic year. She broke down what remote learning means for students of the University, and how “course packs” containing syllabi, learning guides, assignment guides, and activity guides will be given out to facilitate the learning of each student. This was followed by a message from Prof. Francisco N. de los Reyes, UP Office of Admissions Director, outlining the rules governing the Oblation Scholarship.
According to de los Reyes, Oblation Scholars have the privilege of enrolling in any academic program within the University, provided they meet all the other academic requirements of their program of choice. Tuition fees, miscellaneous fees and laboratory fees are all free. Moreover, scholars are entitled to P2,250 per semester in book allowances, together with transportation allowance if they live far from their campus of choice. They also receive P3,000 per month as a special incentive allowance. These privileges last for the normal duration of the degree course chosen, computed from date of first enrolment.
To maintain these privileges, Oblation scholars must take up the normal load prescribed for their degree programs every semester and maintain a general weighted average (GWA) of 2.0. Furthermore, they must pass all the subjects they enrolled in, without incurring a “4.0”, “incomplete”, or “dropped” in their transcripts.
In her message as representative of the current batch, Ms. Beatrice Dominique Caragay urged her fellow students to be open to the many life-changing events that they will experience as students of UP. “Mahaba at mapaghamon ang landas na ating tatahakin bilang mga Iskolar ng Bayan. Ating tandaan na isang malaking karangalan at responsibilidad ang pag-aaral sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas,” (Our journey as mga Iskolar ng Bayan is long and challenging. Let us remember that it is a tremendous honor and responsibility to be able to study in the University of the Philippines) she said.