• Melo Acuna

Schools and universities seek government loan facility

Funding assured for private schools, colleges and universities

MANILA – Around 80 private institutions in into Education expressed interest in accessing the credit facility from Land Bank of the Philippines to assist them in implementing their respective “study now, pay later” plans for students beset with financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement released by the Presidential Communications Operations Office, said LandBank Chair Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III approved the application of three institutions for loans with a combined cost of P260 million under the Access of Academic Development to Empower the Masses toward Endless Opportunities (ACADEME) lending program of the Bank.

The P3 billion ACADEME program was launched by LandBank to extend credit to private high schools, private technical-vocational education training institutions, colleges and universities to encourage students to enroll under the “study now, pay later” arrangement allowing their parents to issue promissory notes for the academic fees.

The promissory notes will be refinanced or rediscounted under the program where schools will be allowed to borrow as much as 70 percent of the promissory note per semester and subject. Schools can only borrow up to a certain maximum amount based on the borrowing capacity of the institution. The lending program will be made available until June 30,2021.

LandBank President and CEO Cecilia Borromeo said six schools have partially submitted their documentary requirements for the program while one loan application will be scheduled for approval and the next Board and Credit Committee meeting within the next three weeks.

Fifteen other schools requested LandBank to help them in the assessment of their loan eligibility. Some 61 other schools have expressed interest in availing the loan package. The loan carries an interest rate of 3 percent per annum and are payable based on the maturity of the sub-promissory notes but should not exceed three years.

LandBank has been arranging teleconferences with school administrators while distributing letters and brochures to potential borrowers and the promotional efforts in the traditional and social media.

Institutions eligible for the ACADEME program are private junior and senior high schools with existing permits to operate from the Department of Education (DepEd) and private technical – vocational schools regulated by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Private colleges and universities may also avail of the facility of and when they offer under-graduate programs duly approved by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED.

Finance Secretary Dominguez said the “Study Now, Pay Later” initiative was among President Duterte’s relief measures to cushion the ill-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Melo M. Acuña)

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III. (DOF File Photo)


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