Press Releases

Recently, the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office IV-A, through its Rizal Provincial Office (DOLE-RPO) named its 3rd Isabelo Delos Reyes (IDR) Scholar.

Ma. Luisa Tobongbanua is the 21-year-old daughter of Domingo Tobongbanua Jr. who works as a cook at Kainan sa Bahay-Bayahan, a restaurant located in Masinag, Antipolo City. Domingo’s affiliation with the union opens the door for Luisa to discover the scholarship grant.

Under the Department Order No. 203 series of 2019, officers and members of workers’ organization including their legitimate dependent child can avail the Workers Organization Development Program (WODP) IDR Scholarship Grant. The Department will cover the educational expenses of the grantee including the tuition and miscellaneous fees. They are also entitled to a monthly stipend and book allowance.

Looking back, Luisa said that their family lives a simple yet comfortable life. While her father works in a restaurant, her mother has a small business to attend to.

During the height of the pandemic, Luisa opted to stop her studies since her father had no work due to the temporary closure of the restaurant following the set restrictions. To sustain the needs of their family, Luisa assisted her mom to sell snacks on the streets.

As Luisa and her family strived to get by, a sudden event left the Tobongbanuas helpless. Luisa’s mother passed away at their least expected time. The Tobongbanuas were left heartbroken. But Luisa wanted to live the last wish of her mother which is to finish her studies. “‘Yun po kasi ang bilin ng mama ko na mag-aral po ako bago siya mawala. Kaya po ayun, lalo po akong nagpursiging mag-aral,” Luisa shared.

Luisa then took the suggestion of her father to apply for the IDR Scholarship. At first, she was hesitant to apply for it because she knew that the documents needed from her school would not be released on time. She was a 1st year Business Administration student in National Teacher’s College at that time.

“Noong una po kasi nagdadoubt po ako baka hindi po umabot, kasi late po ‘yung parang irerelease po ‘yung grades namin kasi po September po kami nag-start. Eh ‘yung ibang school po, August, June. Kaya sabi ko, baka hindi umabot kasi sobrang tagal din pong mag-release ng school namin,” she shared.

Fortunately, her school heeded her request and released the documents she needed for her application for the scholarship grant. Luisa was overjoyed when she was informed that her application was approved by the Department. She extended her gratitude to DOLE-RPO for she believes that this grant would be of great help for her in achieving her dreams for her family.

“Masaya po ako kasi po malaking tulong po ‘yun para sa akin. Kasi po gusto ko po talagang i-push ‘yung pag-aaral ko. Gusto ko pong maiahon ang pamilya namin. Ayaw ko pong minamaliit kami dahil walang pinag-aralan,” Luisa expressed.

During the awarding ceremony, Rizal Provincial Director Marivic B. Martinez reminded Luisa to strive harder in her studies in exchange for her inclusion to the program. Furthermore, only a few were accepted to be part of it.

“Maging grateful ka sa blessing na ‘yan kasi bibihira ang napagkakalooban ng scholarship. And ito nga, ang DOLE may ganito kasing programa, ang WODP. Congrats and ito alam mo naman kung saan mo gagamitin? Allowance, books, baon then of course, tuition fee,” Dir. Martinez said.

She also emphasized to Luisa to finish her studies on time.

“Mag-aral nang mabuti ha? Matapos ka doon sa exact year na kung kailan ka dapat matapos,” Dir. Martinez added.

Luisa received a total of PhP 29,000.00 which includes PhP 10,500.00 for her tuition, PhP 1,000.00 for her miscellaneous fee, and PhP 17,500.00 for her monthly stipend for the semester.


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