Two Complementary Pathways (CPath) Programme scholars enrolled at Tarlac State University formally met Tarlac City Mayor Maria Cristina C. Angeles on October 6, 2023 during a courtesy visit of TSU officials and representatives from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Department of Justice – Refugees and Stateless Persons Protection Unit (DOJ-RSPPU).
The visit aimed to seek support from the City Government of Tarlac in promoting inclusivity and ensuring the safety and welfare of the CPath scholars and other refugees residing within the city.
"TSU is really doing the hard job in taking care of the students and molding their minds… Tarlac City and TSU will be historical kasi kayo ang nag-alaga sa kanila (because you are taking them under your care),” Atty. Maria Ermina Valdeavilla-Gallardo, UNHCR Head of Philippines Office, said.
Mayor Angeles assured that the LGU would attend to the needs of the CPath scholars, provide them with educational assistance in the form of scholarship allowances and internships, explore employment possibilities, and involve them in other LGU programs.
Meanwhile, the CPath scholars also underwent individual protection monitoring sessions, a recurring activity conducted jointly by the UNHCR and DOJ.
These sessions are part of the regular process for the scholars to assess their well-being, familiarize them with Philippine laws, and address any issues and concerns.
UNHCR also conducted an orientation on the Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) and a checkpoint meeting on the University's CPath programme implementation.
Under the programme, scholars are given a safe and regulated avenue to stay in a third country through education, where their international protection needs are addressed.
TSU formally welcomed two scholars on August 25, 2023, and plans to host another CPath scholar starting the next school year. (jlmm-OPA; UNHCR)
Photos by Franc Lewis R. Juanatas