Considering the necessity of the internet as a tool for learning and its rising cost in the Philippines, Converge ICT Solutions Inc. is launching an internet scholarship program for 10 underprivileged, public school students in senior high under the brand name of its postpaid fiber plan BIDA.

“While we now serve more than 2 million customers with high speed broadband, the reality is, many more remain unserved by the benefits of technology. This includes young students, who are in danger of being left behind by their global peers as indicated in surveys such as the Programme for International Student Assessment or PISA,” said Converge President Maria Grace Y. Uy.

“With this in mind, we now launch the BIDA Fiber Internet Scholarship Program which is our company’s homegrown initiative to fight the learning poverty our students face. We hope with this free access to the internet, underprivileged students may reach their full potential as learners and ultimately, as productive citizens,” she continued.

Moreover, initiatives geared towards better access to education are aligned with the company’s thrust to meet Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, Quality Education, and SDG 1, No Poverty. Education is among the company’s key issue areas when it comes to corporate support, having inked a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Education at the height of the pandemic in 2021 to enhance the remote delivery of education.

The BIDA Fiber Internet Scholarship Program is open to incoming Grade 11 students enrolled in public schools and have chosen the STEM track. They must also be in the top 10% of their graduating batch, among other requirements.

For Converge, both connectivity and education are society’s great ‘equalizing’ forces, allowing marginalized and disadvantaged groups to access the same resources as privileged ones, and leveling the playing field in terms of opportunities in the job market.

This scholarship comes amid the general cost prohibitive nature of broadband internet in the country, especially for the underprivileged.

According to the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, among the Asean-5 countries (Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines), we have the costliest monthly internet at USD 44.93 or more than P 2,000. Moreover, the World Bank blog notes that in the

Philippines, the annual charge for fixed broadband takes up 11% of the Gross National Income which is double the Asean average.

At P 888 a month, the BIDA Fiber postpaid plan is the most economical postpaid broadband offering in the market today, offering 75 Mbps for six devices, and with no data caps.

Applicants may submit their requirements from June 25 to July 10. The awarding of the scholarship will be on July 30.

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