MANILA - The state-run Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) is offering loans up to P150,000 per student to parents and guardians who may find it difficult to raise money for tuition during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.
The new program, dubbed the Interim Students’ Loan for Tuition toward Upliftment of Education for the Development of the Youth (i-STUDY), carries a fixed interest rate of 5 percent per year, the DOF said Monday in a statement, citing a report by Landbank president and CEO Cecilia Borromeo to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
“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,” Borromeo said.
Under the program, short-term loans payable within a year are available for pre-school, primary and secondary school students.
Term loans payable up to a maximum of 3 years, inclusive of a one-year grace period on the principal amount, are available for tertiary-level students, said the DOF.
Loans under the program cannot exceed P300,000 per eligible borrower.
The program was introduced “in response to President Duterte’s call on the institution to support students during this time of crisis,” said Borromeo.
Some 3 million students, mostly from private schools, in basic education have yet to enroll in the coming school year, which officials attribute to the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on the income of Filipinos.
Earlier this year, the Landbank launched Access to Academic Development to Empower the Masses towards Endless Opportunities (Academe), a “study now, pay later” program, to ensure the continued education of students during the pandemic.
— with a report from Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News