‘It’s becoming a habit’: University of Cebu gives cars to board top placers
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Marina Luchavez remembers wanting to give her baby sister a ride in a white car should they own one someday. “White car, white car!” she would exclaim every time one passed them by.
Her sister Niña died less than 10 years ago but Luchavez is certain she is celebrating with her now as she received the white Toyota Wigo from her university after placing first in this year's Mechanical Engineering Licensure Exams (MELE) with a rating of 91.6%.
The University of Cebu (UC), her alma mater, has been rewarding graduates who top board exams with a car and P100,000 in cash. Luchavez is just the latest recipient.
“A reward of a car for a topnotcher is very appropriate since its very hard to get the spot in any board exam. They deserve it,” UC president and owner Augusto Go told Rappler.
These top placers, Go continued, "bring free advertisement to the school. More importantly, the prizes serve as incentive to the students to study hard, to be a topnotcher.”
It seems the strategy has been working. In its 51 years of operations, the UC has given away car and cash prizes to about a dozen graduates who topped the licensure exams in architecture, law, education, and engineering, said Chancellor Candice Gotianuy.
In fact, when Luchavez topped the mechanical engineering board exam, tarpaulins were displayed on campus, saying, “It's becoming a habit.”
The university actually gave Luchavez two Toyota Wigos. She chose the white one in memory of her late sister. The other car, a red one, would be for the mentor or instructor who has contributed the most to her achievement.
According to Gotianuy, the prize will go to engineers Ronnie and Rodel Naval. The two will instead return the car and divide its cash value between them.
What does the University of Cebu expect from these graduates who receive cars and cash prizes from the institution?
"We don't require our topnotchers to give back to the school. They've done enough,” Go said. "We even paid for car registrations, insurance and taxes. So there'd be no hassle on their part.” – Rappler.com
Richale Cabauatan is a Rappler intern