BY LEANDER C. DOMINGO
DIDIPIO Mine has awarded scholarships to 85 Indigenous Peoples (IP) students from the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino in a move to extend the benefits to wider beneficiaries.
Lawyer Joan Adaci-Cattiling, Didipio Mine president and External Affairs and Social Performance general manager, said the company is committed to supporting education through scholarships “that aim to boost opportunities for IP youths in both provinces.”
“The Didipio Mine has been implementing a scholarship program to assist deserving students from its host and neighboring communities in realizing their aspirations to pursue education as a means to promote development,” she said.
But this time, Cattiling said they are endeavoring to share the benefits of the Didipio Mine with wider beneficiaries other than the company’s host village of Didipio and 10 surrounding communities.
“For this reason, we have adopted a scholarship program for the greater Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino areas outside our host village and neighboring communities,” she said.
Known as the Community Development Fund-Indigenous Peoples (CDF-IP) scholarship program, Cattiling said they have allotted funds for 75 scholars who are enrolled at the Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU) and Quirino State University (QSU).
Each of the scholars receives P20,000 per semester or P40,000 per school year,” Cattiling said, adding that the CDF-IP scholarship program is in partnership with the Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) in both provinces.
The CDF-IP scholarship program was approved by the Didipio Mine CDF Steering Committee chaired by Engineer Mario Ancheta, who is also the director of Bureau of Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Region 2.
Cattiling added that the scholarship benefit covers tuition fees provided it is required by the school, miscellaneous fees, book expenses, uniform expenses and living allowances.
“Being an IP myself from Ifugao and Mountain Province, I was then full of hope for the future as a student. We are happy because we can see scholars who are also full of hope, inspiration and prayers, knowing fully well that we have a good direction and a good future,” she said.
Meanwhile, the other 10 new scholars are in addition to the existing 30 scholars under the Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG) scholarship program.
Cattiling said these 10 DTMG scholars are enrolled at Saint Louis University, Adamson University in Manila, Saint Mary’s University in Nueva Vizcaya and NVSU.
She noted that under the DTMG scholarship program, each of the scholars is receiving P25,000 for tuition fee per semester, P10,000 as book allowance per semester, and P10,000 monthly stipend for those taking up courses in mining engineering, geology and metallurgy, while P8,000 for those taking up other engineering courses or forestry and agriculture.
Cattiling also thanked their partners in the NCIP headed by Region 2 director Ronaldo Daquioag, higher education institutions officials, and IP representatives in local legislative boards in said provinces, among others, for supporting their IP scholarship program.
The Didipio Mine in Kasibu town, through its various scholarship programs, has produced some 260 scholar-graduates with 224 active scholars as of June 2023.