BPI Foundation, the social development arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), has chosen five college students for its “Pagpupugay” Scholarship Program which hopes to create a secure future for the next-of-kin and close relatives of COVID-19 heroes through education.
“The Bayanihan culture, especially during challenging times, is something that we strongly advocate for,” said BPI Foundation Executive Director Owen Cammayo. “Many of our medical front liners have made the ultimate sacrifice in the care and service of others. Providing higher education assistance to those who depend on them is our way of giving back to these modern-day heroes.”
“Pagpupugay” is a scholarship program for qualified students who are the next-of-kin and close relatives of medical front-liners who contracted COVID-19 or passed away in the line of duty during the pandemic. Each scholar receives a scholarship fund of up to P100,000 for each academic year to cover tuition fees and miscellaneous expenses.
Josef Zyron Cinco, one of the “Pagpupugay” scholars, is the son of Zorahaida A. Cinco, a medical technologist at the Manila Health Department who passed away due to the coronavirus in July. Josef is now a 3rd year BS Information Technology student at the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta in Las Piñas. Thankful for the financial support he received through the “Pagpupugay” program, Josef said, “Your generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community. I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals just as well as you have helped me.”
Another scholar, Azaliah P. Enaje, a 2nd year BS Psychology student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), is the niece of Dr. Reino C. Palacpac, a pediatrician at the Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital in Manila who succumbed to COVID-19 in July. She considered the “Pagpupugay” Scholarship Fund as a gift to her family. “This program will greatly help us in our finances. Knowing that there are still people who are willing to help gives us a sense of hope to move forward,” she said.
Carl Angel D. Jaochico, a 2nd year BS Nursing student at the University of Santo Tomas, wants to honor the legacy of his father, Dr. Marcelo Y. Jaochico, a Provincial Health Officer in Pampanga and a former “Doctor to the Barrios” in Calanasan, Apayao, who passed away in the line of duty in March. “I want to continue what my father has started as he has been my idol figure since I was a child. I believe that I can live a complete life if I could just accomplish half of what he has done,” he said.
Ivy Marie T. Montebon has kicked off her college journey by taking up BS Secondary Education Major in Mathematics at the Cebu Institute of Technology University. She is the daughter of Mr. Edito D. Montebon, an ambulance driver at the Cebu North General Hospital, who contracted the virus in June. “As part of the first batch of Pagpupugay Scholars, my parents don’t have to worry anymore about my school fees. I’m thankful that I can still reach my goals amid the pandemic,” she said.
For Pocholo Rafael C. Resurreccion, a 2nd year BS Biology student at the University of the Philippines – Diliman, his father is his role model. He is the son of Dr. Leandro L. Resurreccion III, a Pediatric Transplant Surgeon at the Philippine General Hospital who died in March due to COVID-19. “I want to follow my father’s footsteps of living a life of service. My father has touched so many hearts and achieved so much throughout his life. Hopefully one day I get to do the same and make him proud,” he said.
Hoping to honor the heroic efforts of more COVID-19 medical front liners, BPI Foundation is set to open more slots for the “Pagpupugay” Scholarship Program next year. To know more about BPI Foundation and its programs, visit www.bpifoundation.org.
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