Representatives of the regional offices of the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD), and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), with Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII Private Sector Representative (PSR) for Education, Fr. Rey Anthony P. Navidad, met on 6 July 2023 to study the possible factors resulting in high drop-out in basic and higher educational institutions in Eastern Visayas.

The hybrid meeting workshop was held pursuant to RDC VIII Resolution No. 39, s. 2023, which directed the RDC VIII-Social Development Committee (SDC) to study the issue on the observed high drop-out rates in the region despite the improved access to tertiary education through Republic Act No. 10932,

or the “Universal Access to Tertiary Education Act” and the various education support programs of the government, including the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) and the Student Financial Assistance Program (StuFAP).

To guide the discussion, Dr. Leo D. Camposano of CHED VIII presented data from the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTEA) Learner Information System, and the TES and Student Financial Assistance Program (StuFAP) databases. Likewise, Dr. Teodorico C. Peliño, Jr., Education Program Supervisor of DepEd VIII, provided statistics from the Enhanced Basic Education Information System. Meanwhile, Ms. Leslie Anne S. Ruiz, Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the DSWD VIII, gave updates from the Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). 

The participants sought to establish a method to assess the issue among children included in the Listahanan and 4Ps databases and to quantify the effectiveness of TES and StuFAP in ensuring student completion in tertiary education. They also identified data requirements and sources needed to carry out the study. 

A follow-up discussion is scheduled for late July to firm up the method and appropriate recommendations. The results of the study will be presented in the next RDC VIII-SDC meeting and furnished to Northern Samar First District Representative Paul R. Daza, who pledged to elevate the issue for further discussion in Congress.

Article by: John Paul E. de Guzman and Ma. Ericka B. Quilos, NRO VIII Interns, and Rommel Rodrigo D. Ceblano, NRO VIII-DRD
Photo by: Knulp D. Aseo, NRO VIII-DRD