IF YOU’RE a tourism or hotel and restaurant management major with a demanding practicum schedule and at the same time a student assistant working at the University to pay for tuition, then you better find a different scholarship program, or else suffer poor health.

Maria Cecilia Tio Cuison, director of the Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management (ITHM), said the on-the-job training schedules of hotels, restaurants, and airlines conflict with the work load required by the University’s San Lorenzo Ruiz working student scholarship program.

“The hospitality, travel, and tour industries demand the students to strictly follow their training schedule,” Tio Cuison told the Varsitarian.

As a result, trainees who are also working scholars in UST would have less time to rest and “could find (their) health compromised,” she said.

For example, trainees at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila, one of the partners of ITHM, must work for eight hours a day for three months.

The hotel requires “the trainee to abide by the training schedule assignment charted out by the (management),” said the training agreement between the hotel and the institute, shown to the Varsitarian.

Upon learning of practicum requirements, graduating ITHM working scholars “willfully” choose not to avail themselves of the San Lorenzo Ruiz scholarship, she said.

Fourth-year tourism students have a total of 12 units for their practicum, equivalent to 600 hours of work, while hotel and restaurant management seniors need to work 700 hours to complete the required 14 units.

The Varsitarian tried to interview senior ITHM working scholars but they declined.

To help San Lorenzo Ruiz scholars from ITHM who have decided to discontinue their working scholarships, the Office for Student Affairs (OSA) has offered them other scholarships like San Martin de Porres, which does not require students to work, but pays for only half of the tuition. San Lorenzo Ruiz scholars are entitled to a full scholarship.

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Last November 17 and 24, seven students sought the San Martin de Porres Scholarship, said Cristina Cabral, assistant to the Rector for student affairs.

“But we may not be able to accommodate them all since in each college there is a limited number of slots,” Cabral told the Varsitarian.

She said her office will look for other scholarship programs for those who will fail to get the San Martin de Porres Scholarship.

No restrictions

Cabral clarified that the San Lorenzo Ruiz Scholarship will still be open to ITHM seniors until the new policy is put in “black and white” by the institute.

“As far as OSA is concerned, there is no restriction on the scholarships. (As long as) the students were able to comply with the requirements, they will be granted the (San Lorenzo) scholarship,” Cabral said.

But the OSA has not yet received any application for working scholarship from senior ITHM students “perhaps because the dean and regent have not endorsed anyone.”

Tio Cuison also said she has not received any San Lorenzo Ruiz scholarship application from graduating students.

“Once a (fourth year) student submits his scholarship application, I will lay down the cards and tell him what may happen to him. But in the end, if he insists on having that scholarship, I will not stop him (from doing) so,” Tio Cuison said.


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