ONE of the important accomplishments of both the Office of the Mayor and Sangguniang Bayan, past and present, is the annual selection of five (5) municipal scholars from the poor but intelligent high school graduates. This time-honored practice started way back in 1992 during the administration of former Mayor Noli Venezuela, and was tenaciously pursued by former Mayor Artemio Chan and the present Mayor Emma Chan.
When the present administration took office, Mayor Emma’s insistence on solid verifiable details motivated the KaPOZoK editor and Ms Loannie de Vera (of the Accounting Office and just-assigned officer-in-charge of the scholarship) to make a record trace of these municipal
scholars which should have numbered at least eighty by then. Unfortunately, the earliest records they managed to dig up from the old and termite-eaten files were from the year 1995.
From 1995 to 2008, the municipality of Pozorrubio had sponsored sixty-five 65 scholars, fifteen (15) of whom had since graduated from their chosen courses. The rest had dropped out of the program. Through further tracings and consequent informal interviews, former scholars cited the following reasons for dropping-out: failure to maintain scholastic standing or even just passing grades, failure of their parents or guardians to raise counterpart expenses, poor health.
In 2008, there were sixteen (16) active municipal scholars. Three (3) of these scholars graduated last March: Lyka Elena M. Narte from Rosario, graduate of BS in Social Science Major in Economics Minor in Psychology from the University of the Philippines, Baguio City; Alexander G. Natividad Jr. from Alipangpang, graduate of BS in Information and Communications Technology from Pangasinan State University and; Gemma C. Sagun, from Nantangalan, graduate of Bachelor in Elementary Education from Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University.
Upon graduation, Ms Lyka Elena M. Narte handed over her token of the UP Oblation to Mayor Emma as a sign of recognition and gratitude. For graduates of the UP system, the ritual of the “Oble” is special; it is usually given by the graduate to the parents in the most tearful moment of the commencement exercise.