State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines has rolled out an educational loan program, allowing students — through their parents or guardians — to borrow as much as P150,000 to finance their enrollment.
Dubbed as the Interim Students' Loan for Tuition toward Upliftment of Education for the Development of the Youth (i-STUDY), the program allows borrowers to loan an amount equivalent to one school year or two semesters.
"This program will not only help families who have kids they want to send to school, but will also assist private schools and downstream industries to sustain and continue their operations," said LandBank president and chief executive officer Cecilia Borromeo.
According to LandBank, the maximum loan amount will be P150,000 per student, and not more than P300,000 per borrower, based on the school-issued Enrollment Assessment Form with the schedule of assessment fees.
The loan will come with a 5% interest rate per annum, fixed for the entire term. Penalties will be at 24% per annum.
For the loan tenors, the LandBank allows a short-term loan payable within a year through a 360-day promissory note. It will also allow a term loan payable up to a maximum of three-years, inclusive of a one-year grace period on the principal.
The loans will then be released lump sum and will be credited directly to the account of the school.
Among those qualified to avail are parents, guardians, or benefactors of students, and must have a combined net take-home pay after loan amortization of P20,000 per enrolled student.
To be eligible, students must not be over 30 years, an incoming student qualified under the admission and retention requirements, and under schools or technical vocational institutions recognized by CHED or TESDA or DepEd.
They must also not be a current beneficiary of the Universal Access for Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017, or any scholarship or program with free tuition fees as honor student.
Aside from this, the LandBank also allotted P3 billion for its "study now, pay later" scheme under its Academic Development to Empower the Masses towards Endless Opportunities (ACADEME) program.
The Department of Education (DepEd) earlier moved the opening of the school year 2020-2021 to October 5 from August 24, amid the difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data from DepEd said that there have been over 24 million students that have enrolled for the upcoming school year.
However, those from the poor and marginalized sectors have expressed concern over the shift to blended learning, given the difficulty to afford a stable internet connection and the lack of the necessary gadgets.
The DepEd has since rolled out television programs for students, with 27 professional teachers hired to serve as broadcasters
Last month, one of the segments of the English lessons — particularly for the eighth grade — went viral after netizens pointed out a grammatical error. — RSJ, GMA News