Sotto gets credited by CHED for “Doktor Para sa Bayan” law
June 01, 2021 07:53 PM
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III receives credit from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for his medical scholarship bill.
“Being the principal author of the Doktor Para sa Bayan Act, I am both elated and excited that my efforts and those of my colleagues in the Senate to increase the number of doctors in underserved areas are already bearing fruit..."
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III’s efforts to push for the Doctor of Medicine program during the coronavirus pandemic was acknowledged by Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Prospero De Vera III during a press briefing on Monday (May 24).
“Being the principal author of the Doktor Para sa Bayan Act, I am both elated and excited that my efforts and those of my colleagues in the Senate to increase the number of doctors in underserved areas are already bearing fruit. Nakakataba po ng puso na isipin na tayo ay nakatulong na mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang ating mga aspiring doctors na matupad na ang kanilang mga pangarap (It warms my heart to think that we have given people a chance to fulfill their dreams of being a doctor),” Sotto said.
Cebu Normal University-Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (CNU-VSMMC) is the first state school in the country to offer the medical scholarship program under Republic Act 11509 or the Doktor Para sa Bayan Law, principally authored by Sotto.
De Vera recognized Sotto’s great contributions to ensure that CHED will approve the Doctor of Medicine program, as well as the scholarship at the CNU-VSMMC.
He added that Sotto had constantly followed up on the progress of the board’s decision, and was “relentless in asking me the causes in the delay for the approval.”
Sotto spearheaded the passage of the measure, which was signed into law by President Duterte last December.
The law states that deserving students from state schools and private institutions without medical courses can acquire a full medical scholarship in exchange for a return of service, which means that graduates will render four years of service in the area where they studied, or in an underserved community. The measure also mandates that cities without government doctors will be prioritized.
The Senate chief said that the global health pandemic emphasized the shortcomings of the country’s healthcare system, especially the lack of doctors in far-flung areas.
“Nakakalungkot pong isipin na marami pa ring lugar sa ating bansa ang walang mga doktor na titingin sa kalusugan ng ating mga kababayang may sakit. Sa pagsasabatas ng Doktor Para sa Bayan Act at sa pagbukas ng medical program sa CNU-VSMMC, umaasa po tayo na mas madali nating makakamit ang ideal ratio na one doctor per barangay,” he added.
(It’s really unfortunate that there are many places in the country that still lack doctors who will look after our ill countrymen. With the passage of the Doktor Para sa Bayan Law, and the introduction of the medical program at CNU-VSMMC, we are hoping that we can now attain the ideal one doctor per municipality ratio)
The CNU-VSMMC College of Medicine Consortium will begin accepting students for the upcoming academic year 2021 to 2022.