MANILA, Philippines - The government has earmarked P11.2 billion for the Education Assistance Fund Program (EAFP) intended to help members of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Social Security System (SSS) shoulder the cost of higher education.
Around 1.4 million GSIS members can avail of a P4.4 billion allocation, while 200,000 SSS members can tap educational loans from a P7 billion allocation to EAFP.
Assistant Vice President Maria Luz Generoso says SSS members who want to apply for educational loans for four-year degree programs can borrow P10,000 to P15,000 per semester or as much as P80,000 to P120,000 payable within 5 years after graduation.
Those looking to avail of loans for vocational or technical courses may borrow P7,500 pesos per semester or up to P30,000 pesos for two years payable within 3 years from graduation.
"If the loan will start on the first semester, the support of SSS is up to P15,000 per semester. It will be up to the 8th semester for a 4-year course. For Vocational and technical courses it will also be on a per semester basis. We will release four times," said Generoso on Mornings@ANC.
"We will give a grace period of one-year (for amortization), enough time for graduates to look for a job to help the sponsor."
She says SSS members are encouraged to pursue vocational and technical courses in keeping with the government's goal of expanding the country's manufacturing industry.
"We'd really like to focus, or allocate more to the vocational-technical courses because that's really what our country needs... we are in the manufacturing and industrial age right now."
Ahead of the start of classes in June, Generoso says various SSS branches are now accepting loan applicants who will be accommodated on a first-come-first-served basis.
"They secure an application form, they bring that application form to the school and get an assessment for a billing statement indicating how much that tuition is."
Active members with a monthly salary of P10,000 and below are entitled to the loan. They only need to go to the nearest SSS branch with their SSS ID, their beneficiary tuition fee receipt and fill up an application form for the SSS educational loan.