Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III filed on Monday the first Senate bill in the 18th Congress which seeks to benefit aspiring doctors in state universities and colleges.
Senate Bill No. 1 aims to give scholarship grants to those “deserving medical students” in rural areas. Under the proposal, the scholarship grants shall cover tuition fees, laboratory and miscellaneous fees, required textbooks, school supplies and equipment, clothing and uniform allowances, travel expenses, board and lodging, and, subsistence and living allowances.
The scholarship grants shall be funded by the Department of Health and state universities and colleges.
Among those who are qualified for the said grants are passers of the National Medical Admission Test, and a medical school’s entrance exam, whose family income is not sufficient to support education in medicine.
Meanwhile, incoming students must be part of the top 20 percent of the graduating batch.
Also, the scholars shall be required to serve the country for five years—two years of which must be rendered in state-run hospitals or medical facilities.
Sotto also added that 2014 data from the Philippine Medical Association showed that there would be a shortage of 930,000 doctors in the country once the population in the country reaches 100 million.