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Schools get loans for ‘study now, pay later’ plan


The state-run Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) has provided loans to three private educational institutions on top of more than 80 in the shortlist with “study now, pay later” programs to be made available to students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement on Monday, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Landbank’s board chaired by Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III already green-lit P260 million in loans to three schools under the Access to Academic Development to Empower the Masses toward Endless Opportunities (Academe) loan program.

Launched by Landbank last month, the P3-billion Academe program is aimed at extending credit to private high schools, colleges and universities as well as technical-vocational education training institutions to allow their students’ parents to issue promissory notes covering school fees.

“These promissory notes will then be refinanced or rediscounted under the program, with schools allowed to borrow as much as 70 percent of the sub-promissory note per semester and subject,” the DOF said.

“However, schools can only borrow up to a certain maximum amount based on the net borrowing capacity of the institution,” the DOF added.

“Loans under the program carry an interest rate of 3 percent a year and are payable based on the maturity of the sub-promissory notes but not to exceed three years,” according to the DOF.

Private education institutions can apply for Academe loans until June 30 next year.

As of July 1, six schools submitted partial documentary requirements to avail themselves of Academe, while one school’s loan application was scheduled for possible approval by the fourth week of this month, Landbank president and chief executive Cecilia C. Borromeo said in a recent report to Dominguez.

“Follow-through meetings are being undertaken by Landbank with 15 other schools to assist them in assessing their loan eligibility. Another 61 schools across the country have likewise expressed interest in availing of the Academe facility,” the DOF quoted Borromeo as saying.
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