COA warns CHED: It's not 'study now, pay no more plan'
MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Audit (COA) has recommended that the Commission on Higher Education submit the names of delinquent recipients of the government’s Study Now, Pay Later Plan (SNPLP) to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to force them to pay up some P98.2 million in education loans.
A person whose name is on the CHED list will not be able to secure an NBI clearance for employment or travel purposes.
The CHED said it has already retrieved past records to update their files on the SNPLP program and will send notices to student-borrowers to settle their obligations or face problems with the NBI.
Letters have likewise been forwarded to participating higher education institutions (HEIs) requesting them to submit to CHED the complete details of the student borrowers.
COA auditors said while the student-borrowers appear to have simply forgotten their loans after graduation or severance from the SNPLP program for non-compliance with grade requirements, CHED has also been negligent in collecting.
Auditors reported “very minimal collection of P592,164.89 or less than one percent of the total loans receivables of P98,202,800.24 in CY 2011 in five CHEDROs (CHED Regional Offices).”
The regions covered by the report were NCR (Metro Manila), Region 4A (CALABARZON), Region 4B (MIMAROPA), Region 9 (Western Mindanao) and Region 13 (CARAGA).
Terms of payment
Under the SNPLP program, poor but deserving students were granted loans for payment of tuition and other school fees as well as expenses on books and board and lodging.
The student loan grantees were supposed to pay the loan two years after graduation on small installments spread for up to 10 years at 6% annual interest.
But COA noted that after releasing funds for the student loans directly to their chosen schools, CHED has failed to monitor usage, rate of graduation or termination, the whereabouts of the recipients and whether or not they actually ended up being employed.
In Region 13, auditors found that SNPLP grants were approved for 111 students whose addresses were unknown and who submitted memorandums of agreement that were not even notarized, making collection doubtful. - Rappler.com