- The Medical Scholarship Bill is a priority measure in the Senate following the COVID-19 pandemic
- Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that the scholarship will push more students to aspire to become doctors
- Under the measure, the scholarship grant for aspiring medical students shall cover their tuition fees, laboratory and miscellaneous fees, required textbooks, and living allowances among others
A bill that seeks to grant scholarships to students aspiring to become doctors is a top priority amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III confirmed that the passing of the Medical Scholarship Bill is one of the priority measures to be tackled in the Senate.
The Senate Bill No. 1 or the Medical Scholarship Bill was filed by Sotto last July 2019. Under the measure, a scholarship grant for aspiring medical students shall cover their tuition fees, laboratory and miscellaneous fees, required textbooks, and living allowances among others.
Sotto was quoted by Inquirer during a virtual meeting saying, “One of the most important things now — and we have been insisting on it even before — is the Medical Scholarship Act. There will be more people who would like to be doctors or even nurses in the Philippines if we would pass this Medical Scholarship Act.”
“In other words, if Filipinos want to be doctors, [their schooling] should be free. That’s what’s stopping them now — taking up medicine is expensive. This law will allow that many Filipinos to learn to become doctors because it’s free,” he added.
Scholars shall be required to serve the country for five years, two years of which must be rendered in public hospitals or medical facilities.
To qualify, aspiring medical students must pass the National Medical Admission Test, and a medical school’s entrance exam, whose family income is not sufficient to support an education in medicine.
Incoming medical students must also be part of the top 20 percent of the graduating batch.