Facebook page “Senator Pacquiao Supporters” shared a screenshot of another Facebook post about how Grade 10 students who graduated from public schools are entitled to receiving P17,500 worth of voucher from the Department of Education. The voucher will then be given to the senior high school of their choice, wherever it is in the country. If the student chooses to go to a private school, the voucher will be sent to that school and the parents will only be required to pay for the balance left after the P17,500 is paid.
The post even cited DepEd Order No. 8 and No. 11 series 2015 and No. 1 series 2016 for guidance.
When we checked the comments section, it seemed that netizens have different ideas about the voucher, with some saying that it is not truly offered by the government and others claiming that it is indeed available. However, among the comments that stood out are those thanking Senator Manny Pacquiao for the voucher.
However, there are the things that we learned about the Senior High School (SHS) voucher program.
According to DepEd, the Voucher program is designed for Grade 10 completers who are going to pursue Senior High School education in private high schools, colleges or universities, local universities and colleges (LUCs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), and technical and vocational schools, starting school year 2016-2017. The voucher is meant to help out families in having access to a wider range of options when sending their students to a school with an SHS program.
One clarification though. The voucher will not be given to the students or their parents directly in the form of cash. Instead, it will be disbursed to the non-DepEd school where the students choose to enroll.
Who, then, are the intended recipients of the SHS voucher?
- Public Grade 10 completers (automatic recipients) get 100% of the voucher amount
- Grade 10 completers who are Education Service Contracting (ESC) grantees from private Junior HS are also automatic recipients who will receive 80% of the voucher amount
- Grade 10 completers from private JHS but are not ESC grantees may apply.
There were also debates on how much the voucher amount really is. DepEd said that the amount varies based on the location of the school.
- Recipients from public JHS who will register in a non-DepEd SHS in the National Capital Region (NCR) will receive P22,500, while those who came from private JHS will only get P18,000. Those who will choose SUCs or LUCs will receive only half, P11,250.
- Recipients from public JHS who will register in a non-DepEd SHS in any highly-urbanized city (HUCs) outside of NCR will be entitled to a P20,000 voucher, while those who came from private JHS will only get P16,000. Those who will enroll in SUCs or LUCs will only get P10,000. For more information on what are identified as HUCs, you can visit the DepEd page on the vouchers.
- Recipients from public JHS who will go to a non-DepEd SHS in municipalities and incities outside of NCR and are not HUCs will receive P17,500, as what was cited in the Facebook post by the Pacquiao fan page, while those who completed Grade 10 from private JHS will only get P14,000. Those who will enroll in SUCs or LUCs will only be entitled to a P8,750 discount.
For more information, you can visit DepEd’s page on the Voucher Program here.
As for the DepEd orders cited in the Facebook post, DepEd Order No. 8, series 2015 is about the Policy Guidelines on Classroom Assessment for the K to 12 Basic Education Program.
DepEd Order No. 11 series 2015 is about the Policy Guidelines on the Implementation of the SHS Voucher Program Under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) Program. It was released on April 10, 2015.
It showed that the voucher program was developed in 2015, although it was only implemented in S.Y. 2016-2017. This proved that Senator Pacquiao has no involvement in the development of the program at all. The netizens misunderstood that the program was the senator’s initiative because it was posted by his Facebook fan page, not even by his official Facebook page.
DepEd Order No. 1 series 2016 is about the Clarifications on the SHS Voucher Program and Partnerships with Public and Private SHS Providers.
Here are also infographics released by DepEd to help in the better understand of what the SHS Voucher Program is all about.
The program started during the Aquino administration and it has continued under the Duterte administration, as what was reported in the DepEd press release on November 8, 2016, assuring the distribution of SHS vouchers for Grade 11 enrollees in 2017.
To make things clear, it wasn’t Senator Pacquiao who developed the SHS Voucher Program, but the DepEd under former Education Secretary Armin Luistro in 2015. It was implemented starting S.Y. 2016-2017, but there are certain guidelines in determining who are qualified to be voucher recipients.
Be Informed. Beat the Trolls, Share the Truth!