Copyright Quisumbing Family 2007. All rights reserved.
failed to finish their degrees and returned to the Philippines poorly unprepared for duties which they were assigned.
Due to difficulties in securing trained personnel to positions requiring technical or scientific knowledge, it became imperative to send Filipinos to American universities for special training. In view of this need for men possessing such knowledge and the development of public instruction, the Governor General (Francis B. Harrison) in his message to the Philippine Legislature on October 16, 1918 recommended for the revival of the pensionado movement. Thus, the Legislature passed Act No. 2785 of December 21, 1918 appropriating the amount of PhP300,000 for scholarships in the United States or any foreign country available to private persons or government officials or employees by reason of their technical knowledge or special training or because of the studies initiated by them need to be supplemented or perfected for the benefit of any branch of public interest or for the interest of the Philippine Government.
A committee on government pensionados was created by the Council of State to promulgate rules and regulations on the choice of pensionados as provided for. In its meeting of June 11, 1919, the Council approved a large number of appointees from the
different offices and branches of government.24
Under the authority of the Council dated April 10, l919, Dr. Walter W.
Marquardt, Director of Education (June 20, 19l6-July 1, 1919) was named the
Philippine Educational Agent by Acting Governor General Charles E. Yeater for
three years. His duties were as follows: (1) to take charge of the
pensionados, (2) to secure teachers for the Bureau of Education and the
University of the
(3) to perform other duties as might be assigned by the Council of State. He
continued to serve in that capacity when his original contract was renewed until
March 31, 1923 on his
retirement under the Philippine Retirement Act. His assistant since February 16, 1920, Mrs. Georgia S.
Williams, succeeded him in an acting capacity until she was permanently
appointed to that position on September
There were two kinds of scholarship: (1) full and (2) partial. The full scholarship provided the pensionado a monthly allowance of seventy dollars to cover his expenses for lodging, laundry and board aside from necessary travelling expenses actually incurred, expenses for matriculation, books and other items deemed necessary by the educational agent. The partial entitled the pensionado a fixed monthly allowance of forty dollars at the start and it was increased to include tuition, expenses for typing and printing dissertations for advanced degrees, actual and necessary travel expenses in the United States and a first class return trip from the United States to Manila. Government pensionados received the difference between the annual pensionado quota of two thousand pesos and the salaries they had previously received.25
The Philippine Legislature in Act 3227 of November 6, 1925 revised the selection of pensionados in 1926 by competitive examinations supervised and controlled by the Director of Civil Service in the Philippines or the Bureau of Insular Affairs in the United States under rules and regulations to be promulgated by the Pensionado Committee of the Council of State. These rules and regulations promulgated on March 2, 1926 made radical changes which (1) restricted pensionados to pursue courses not offered in the Philippines; (2) limited the scholarship to one year subject to extension depending on the recommendations of the university authorities and the pensionado agent; and (3) limited appointments to persons who had graduated from a four-year degree program or to government officials or employees to undertake special studies or investigations. Pensionados who enjoyed the full and partial scholarships still received the same allowances and privileges as stated above. This was also applicable to government officials or employees who got the same difference as shown above. The full and partial scholars were to serve the government one year and a half and one year, respectively, for every year the government spent for their schooling and to submit themselves under the control and supervision of the pensionado agent.
The holding of competitive examinations in the United States was conducted by the American Civil Service Commission with the cooperation of the pensionado agent in 1927 and 1928, the only two occasions, to secure eligibles for appointment as partial pensionados. There were fourteen and eleven partial pensionados in the two years mentioned above. The partial scholarships offered were in accounting, agriculture, chemistry, education, surveying and engineering.26 The work of Dr. Marquardt and Mrs.Williams as pensionado agents differed little from those agents of the first period (1903-1914). What is significant was that the pensionados of the second period (1919-1934) were much older, more educated and more “Americanized” than those of the first group. The agent of the first and second periods had almost similar tasks except that the agent of the second group had to take long trips to check the progress and conduct of each student in different universities and colleges throughout the country.
Regarding the college work of the pensionados, Marquardt advised the college officials not to grant special favors to graduating foreign students who should be at par in both academic and scientific standards as those set for the Americans. As to language requirements, some considerations might be allowed to other foreign students but not to Filipino students who received instruction in English.
Pensionados of the second period were permitted to acquire practical experience as much as possible. In 1928, for example, several of them worked in banks, construction companies, hospitals, schools, and government offices to gain such experience.
Aside from his work with the students, the pensionado agent was entrusted to secure the hiring of American teachers for the Philippine service. The routinary work of sending information and application blanks to prospective teachers was handled by a staff of the Bureau of Insular Affairs. Letters of inquiry on special points were replied by the Philippine educational agent himself. Formal appointments were approved by the Bureau who also handled the transportation arrangement for the appointed teachers.
The Bureau took care of the warrant and transportation orders of the pensionados as well as the functions of a fiscal nature. As a service to the Filipino pensionados and non-government Filipino students, the Bureau was responsible for the periodical publication of a Directory of Filipino Students in the United States and What Filipino Students Coming to the United States Ought to Know in 1921 and re-issued in several editions.27
With regard to university fellows, the University of the Philippines was entitled to a number of pensionados for foreign study. A few of these pensionados received financial support from the annual appropriation of this University. These university fellows received the same allowances and privileges like the pensionados appointed by the Council of State but their actual appointments were approved by the University Board of Regents.