I took the DOST scholarship exam before graduating from high school. It was actually more like my classmates and I were forced to take the exam. I was lucky enough to have gotten a scholarship. Or so I thought.
Back then, the aid from DOST was 3,500, and UP would subsidize the rest. So I really felt lucky. Until the contract ended and I found out that I couldn't go anywhere outside the country without clearing my name at the DOST, NBI, and BI. It was such a hassle, that whatever sense of gratitude I had was diminished.
Unfortunately, I only encountered this problem years later, when my sisters had already gotten DOST scholarships. So we all have to have the clearances from DOST, NBI and BI whenever we travel, just in case their system doesn't reflect it.
With the internet and all, you'd think that this wouldn't be a concern anymore. In the first place, it wasn't such a nice thing to put DOST scholars on the hold departure list and not take them out automatically once DOST clears them. After all, it was DOST who put them there. The scholars who have been cleared don't have to be embarrassed at the airport just because the 3 agencies don't coordinate better. My friend had to pay a huge amount of money just so she could go to med school, and she was stopped at the airport after she had been cleared. These agencies also don't have to be embarrassed for inefficiency or insufficiency of their system, when all they have to do is make better use of the internet, which is not even expensive.