By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Aug. 25 (PNA) — The Senate on Thursday hailed Philippine naval officer Ensign Maycee Angga for receiving the best international student award at the Britannia Royal Navy College (BRNC) in Darmouth, United Kindgom.

“Ensign Angga’s achievement exemplifies the determination and commitment of all our uniformed personnel in bringing honor and recognition to the country through their outstanding achievements in their respective fields,” Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said.

Pimentel, on the same day, filed a Senate Resolution congratulating and commending Angga’s exemplary achievement which he said showed “formidable courage” and “innate talent” in the pursuit of excellence in the presence of equally able contenders from other nations in the world.

“I hope her story will inspire another generation,” the Senate President said.

In his Senate Resolution No. 109, Pimentel said that Angga, who hails from Orion, Bataan, emerged as the first Philippine naval officer to attend and complete the grueling course at the BRNC and the first female naval officer to be given the distinguished award.

Angga was also cited for being the lone female officer among the international cadets from Albania, the Bahamas, Egypt, Libya, Qatar, the United Emirates, and Ukraine, who graduated along with cadets of the United Kingdom.

This commendation comes after the Senate last week hailed Olympic Games silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippine Air Force, who finally ended the country’s 20-years medal drought in the quadrennial Games.

S&T scholarship program expansion

Pimentel meanwhile filed a bill to encourage poor but intelligent students to pursue higher education in the field of science and technology (S&T) through a scholarship program available to all incoming students enrolled in its related courses.

Pimentel’s new bill builds on the S&T program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through its Science Education Institute (SEI) in Republic Act No. 7687 or the “Science and Technology Scholarship Act of 1994,” and in R.A. 10612, or the “Fast-Tracked S&T Scholarship Act of 2013.”

Under the proposed scholarship, Filipino students currently enrolled in any state university or college taking up priority S&T courses with a general weighted average (GWA) of 83 percent or higher.

Scholars will also be entitled to an annual award for full-time study equal to the complete financial package of R.A. 7687.

Moreover, they will have an award while matriculating in an approved program but shall not exceed five years from the time the program is availed.

The proposed scholarship program would be funded by this year’s appropriations of the SEI under the DOST. The SEI would be authorized to accept grants, contributions or donations from domestic and foreign sources

Pimentel said that it was a declared policy of the state to promote the right of all citizens to affordable quality education and to ensure that education shall be accessible to all.

“The state shall also give priority to research and development, invention, innovation and their utilization. Thus, priority shall also be given to science, technology, mathematics, and engineering,” Pimentel said.

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