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REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10612 - An Act Expanding the Coverage of the Science and Technology (S&T) Scholarship Program
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For the information and guidance of all concerned, enclosed is a copy of Republic Act No. 10612 dated August 23, 2013 entitled An Act Expanding the Coverage of the Science and Technology (S&T) Scholarship Program and Strengthening the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in Secondary Schools and for Other Purposes which is self-explanatory.

Immediate dissemination of this Memorandum is desired.


Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
Metro Manila
Fifteenth Congress
Third Regular Session

Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-third day of July, two thousand twelve.

[REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10612]

AN ACT EXPANDING THE COVERAGE OF THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (S&T) SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM AND STRENGTHENING THE TEACHING OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

CHAPTER I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 1.
Short Title. – This Act shall be known as the "Fast-Tracked S&T Scholarship Act of 2013”.

SECTION 2. Declaration of Policy. – Science, technology and engineering are essential for national development and progress. The State shall give priority to research and development, invention, innovation and their utilization. Priority shall also be given to science and technology education, training and services.

In line with the above, it is hereby declared the policy of the State to promote the development of the country’s science and technology manpower in line with economic development and to provide the capability required in the areas of research, development, innovation as well as their utilization. As such, it is important that the State provide for quality science and mathematics teachers at the secondary level, which would encourage more students to pursue careers in science and technology.

Therefore, the State shall provide for scholarships to deserving science students and other specially-gifted citizens to enable them to pursue higher education or training in the areas of science, technology and engineering, and to provide incentives for them to become secondary school teachers, especially in their home regions.

SECTION 3. General Objectives. – To carry out the measure, this Act shall strengthen the country’s science and technology education by fast tracking graduates in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering who shall teach science and mathematics subjects in secondary schools throughout the country. Towards this end, scholarships shall be provided to finance the education of talented and deserving students in their third year of college, and pursuing a degree or training in the areas of science and technology, and to provide incentives for them to pursue a career in teaching in high schools, especially in their home regions.

CHAPTER II

UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP CRITERIA

SECTION 4.
Scholarship Program. – This Act builds on the current Science and Technology Scholarships offered by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through its Science Education Institute (SEI), as provided for in Republic Act No. 7687, otherwise known as the "Science and Technology Scholarship Act of 1994”. It envisions a fast tracking of more science, technology, and engineering graduates by offering scholarships to deserving students in these courses in their third year of undergraduate study, based on their competitiveness and merit. It also offers additional incentives to attract the graduates of this scholarship program into teaching science, mathematics and technology courses in a public or private high school.

SECTION 5.
Eligibility. – The following are qualifications for the scholarship with teaching incentive. Applicants must:

(a) Be a Filipino citizen;

(b) Be a regular third-year college student at the time of award;

(c) Be currently enrolled in any of the state universities or colleges, or in private universities, especially in Commission on Higher Education (CHED)-compliant programs, under any of the identified priority S&T courses;

(d) Have a general weighted average (GWA) of eighty-three percent (83%) or better during their first and second year of college; and

(e) Qualify in the Junior-Level Science Scholarship Examination.

SECTION 6.
Award Amounts. – Recipients are entitled to an annual award for full-time study equal to the complete financial assistance package offered under Republic Act No. 7687, for students attending an approved undergraduate program at quality schools, such as CHED-compliant programs and DOST Network Institutions, public or private, with minimum slots awarded in private schools to offset differences in tuition costs.

SECTION 7.
Duration. – Recipients shall be entitled to an award for the last two (2) years of undergraduate study, or the last three (3) years for those enrolled in five (5)-year courses such as engineering, while matriculating in an approved program.

SECTION. 8
. Approved Courses and Priority Programs. – Recipients shall pursue degrees in science, technology and engineering, as identified and approved by the DOST as priority S&T courses. Applicants who are currently enrolled under such courses under the CHED-compliant programs will be given priority.

SECTION. 9. Terms and Conditions. – Applicants for the scholarships must execute a service contract in which they:

(a) Agree to teach as their return of service (ROS);

(b) Agree to any of the approved ROS conditions; and

(c) Agree to repay the amounts disbursed plus interest pursuant to the terms of their service contract.

Failure to comply with the terms of the service contract will result in the full repayment (plus penalties, if applicable) of all award monies received within a specified time, limit.

CHAPTER III

RETURN OF SERVICE CONDITIONS AND INCENTIVES

SECTION 10
. Return of Service Conditions. – Award recipients must teach full-time high school subject(s) in Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, or Physics; or Information Technology or Agricultural, Aquaculture or Fisheries Technology, both in the university and technical-vocational tracks in the secondary education curriculum, for a minimum of two (2) years, in a public or private high school.

SECTION 11. Incentives Schemes. – The following are incentives granted to qualified graduates who shall be hired to teach at a public or private high school for a minimum of two (2) years. They shall be entitled to:

(a) A starting salary grade equivalent to that of a Special Science Teacher I in the Philippine Science High School System;

(b) Priority for job placement in any high school, public or private, of his/her choice within the country, with first priority in his/her home province;

(c) A one-time relocation allowance should he/she be assigned in a place other than the permanent residence;

(d) Scholarships in identified teacher education institutes for Science Education courses; and

(e) Pass the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) within five (5) years of hiring.

Recipients of the four (4)- or five (5)-year S&T Undergraduate Scholarship of DOST-SEI under Republic Act No. 7687 may also opt to teach full-time the courses identified in Section 10 of this Act, for a minimum of two (2) years in a public or private high school in their home region.

SECTION 12. Teacher Training. – The Philippine Normal University (PNU), being the National Center for Teacher Education per Republic Act No. 9647, otherwise known as the "Philippine Normal University Modernization Act of 2009”, and its network of universities in teacher education like the National Network of Normal Schools (3NS), as well as CHED-compliant programs in teacher education and centers for teacher training recognized by the CHED and the DepED, are hereby tasked to provide training for hired teachers under this program. For this purpose, one thousand (1,000) scholarships are made available every year to these hired teachers to be sourced from the DepED, to be coordinated with their implementation of the teacher education and training provision of Republic Act No. 10533, otherwise known as the "Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013”.

CHAPTER IV

OPTIONS FOR OTHER SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY,
ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS GRADUATES

SECTION 13. Eligibility of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Graduates. – Other STEM graduates and professionals, who are not recipients of the scholarship program provided for in this Act, may also apply to teach science, mathematics or technology subjects in a public or private high school. Applicants must:

(a) Be a Filipino citizen;

(b) Have graduated with a science, technology, engineering or mathematics degree, with a GWA of eighty-three percent (83%) or better from a reputable university;

(c) Be at least forty (40) years of age at the time of application; and

(d) Not have a service obligation under another program in conflict with DOST-SEI obligations.

Qualified graduates and professionals shall also be entitled to teacher training programs in any teacher education institution, as specified in Section 12 of this Act, to prepare them into full-time teaching in a public or private high school in their home region.

CHAPTER V

IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES

SECTION 14. Science Education Institute (SEI). – The DOST-SEI shall be the main implementing agency of the provisions in this Act. The SEI shall be responsible for evaluation, award-giving and monitoring of scholarship grants and awardees. The Institute is also tasked with coordinating with other relevant agencies in the fulfillment of the goals of this Act.

SECTION 15. Department of Education (DepED). – The DepED is hereby tasked to ensure job placement and hiring of qualified graduates under this program as secondary school teachers in science, mathematics and related technology courses, and to ensure that these teachers are hired at Special Science Teacher salary grade levels, as specified in this Act. The Department is also tasked with the evaluation and monitoring of hired teachers under this program.

CHAPTER VI

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

SECTION 16. Review and Monitoring. – The DepED, the CHED and the DOST shall report to the President and Congress after the first three (3) years, and annually thereafter, on the implementation of the provisions of this Act and submit recommendations for its improvement.

The Departments are also tasked to monitor the hiring in high schools of scholars under this program, and to undertake such tracer studies and include these in the annual reports.

SECTION 17. Implementing Rules and Regulations. – Within sixty (60) days from the approval of this Act, the DOST and the DepED shall promulgate the rules and regulations to effectively implement the provisions of this Act.

SECTION 18. Appropriations. – The amount necessary to carry out the implementation of this Act, as specified in Chapter II, shall be charged against the current year’s appropriations of the SEI under the DOST. Thereafter, such sums as may be necessary to augment the Science and Technology Scholarship Fund, as provided for in Republic Act No. 7687, shall he included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

In addition, the SEI is authorized to accept grants, contributions and/or donations from domestic and foreign sources for scholarship grants.

SECTION 19. Separability Clause. – If any provision or part hereof is held invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder of the law or the provisions not otherwise affected shall remain valid and subsisting.

SECTION 20. Repealing Clause. – All laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations and administrative regulations or parts thereof inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

SECTION 21.
Effectivity Clause. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette and in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.

Approved,

(Sgd.) FELICIANO BELMONTE JR.
Speaker of the House
of Representatives
    

(Sgd.) JINGGOY EJERCITO ESTRADA
Acting Senate President

This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 3400 and House Bill No. 6860 was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on June 6, 2013.

(Sgd.) MARILYN B. BARUA-YAP
Secretary General
House of Representatives
    

(Sgd.) EMMA LIRIO-REYES
Secretary of the Senate

Approved: AUG 23 2013

(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines

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