dost studs

More than a year after the MOA for Project COMET (Consortium for Meteorology Education and Training) was signed on January 7, 2011 by the presidents of the four-member universities (BU, CLSU, MMSU and VSU), together with the DOST Undersecretary and officer-in-charge of PAGASA Graciano P. Yumul, Jr. and AGHAM Party List Representative Angelo B. Palmones, the three scholars from the Visayas State University Main Campus signed the Scholarship Agreement for the 2012 Junior Level Science Scholarships (JLSS) for BS Meteorology. The signing of the Scholarship Agreement took place in the afternoon of June 8, 2012 at the VSU Oriental Garden Viewing Pavilion.


The signatories of the Agreement are the three scholars—Charlindo S. Torrion, Ger Anne Marie Duran, and Neil John P. Ramal, together with their parents; Dr. Filma G. Brawner, director of the Science Education Institute of DOST; Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo, VSU President; in the presence of Dr. Florentino O. Tesoro, AGHAM Party List Chief of Staff; and Dr. Oscar B. Posas, VSU VP for Instruction.

In his message, Dr. Bacusmo expressed his confidence that the right persons who can deliver the best education to the scholars when it comes to BS Meteorology are the people from PAGASA. He encouraged the students to study hard, give their best to keep pace with other students from Bicol University (BU), Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), and Central Luzon State University (CLSU). The president hopes that more students will apply for the scholarship and wishes to see the scholars on television giving weather forecasts.

In her part, Dr. Brawner announced that 16 students from the four-member universities of the Project COMET qualified as scholars who will be going into BS Meteorology. She emphasized that there is really a need to develop people with knowledge and skills in weather forecasting. "One of the main tasks that you are going to do is to study about weather and later on translate this into research in this field of meteorology," she said.

Dr. Brawner added that the concept or idea of offering BS in Meteorology came from the AGHAM Party List as part of a vision of how things would look like in the future in terms of climate. She also revealed that the idea was further translated into some actions by agencies like CHED, the consortium of universities who came up with curricular program, PAGASA of DOST, and the SEI for the scholarship.

"I was impressed by the credentials of the scholars and hoping that within two years we can have results of this program in terms of graduates in BS Meteorology. Am very sure that your chances of succeeding the program would be very high," Dr. Brawner averred.

She also wished that the program will continue until such time that there will be a good number of human resources that would satisfy the requirement. Thus, she challenged the scholars to study very hard so that they would be better qualified to get into a career and fully utilize their knowledge.

On the other hand, Dr. Tesoro affirmed that the idea of offering BS Meteorology started with Cong. Palmones way before the campaign period in 2010 mainly because weather is very close to him considering that he is the president of the Philippine Typhoon Committee.

He also mentioned that one of the issues raised was "the prospect of having a job after one has obtained a BS in Meteorology" Dr. Tesoro assured the scholars that the prospects are good. "PAGASA alone needs 40 meteorologists. But let's not put all our hopes upon PAGASA because there are other opportunities," he added. He further said that the graduates can teach meteorology in a program for engineering, they can be hired in agricultural companies, the airlines and shipping industries are also in need of meteorologists because no airline can leave any airport without a flight plan and that flight plan is basically a meteorological plan.

In his conversation with DOST Secretary Mario Montejo, Dr. Tesoro bared that DOST will handle the scholarship of the 16 students while AGHAM will take care of the salaries of the teachers/professors. Tesoro also said that they already contracted the boarding house of the scholars who will be going to PAGASA in Quezon City for the remaining years of their course as required in the curriculum.

On behalf of the scholars, Mr. Torrion assured the VSU administration that with their full support and prayers they will do their best and make VSU proud of them.

The 16 scholars (BU – 4, CLSU – 7, MMSU – 2, and VSU – 3) shall avail of the following privileges: tuition fees not to exceed P6,000/semester; book allowance of P2,500/semester; monthly stipend (P4,000 from DOST and P1,000 from AGHAM); one round-trip economy fare transportation allowance; group health and accident insurance; and graduation allowance of P1,000.

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