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MANILA, Philippines – Starting this year, students from public and private universities can avail of short-term loans from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera III and DBP Executive Vice President Fe Prado on Wednesday, April 17, signed a memorandum of agreement providing P1 billion for the implementation of the government’s short term student loan program, a financial assistance program under Republic Act No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.
“This partnership between CHED and DBP is the long-awaited final component of RA 10931 to help needy students pursue undergraduate and graduate studies in public and private schools,” De Vera said.
Under the program, students can borrow an initial maximum amount of P60,000. This may be used to pay for tuition and other school fees, books and school materials, tertiary education allowance, or review for licensure exams administered by the Professional Regulation Commission.
How students can apply for a loan: Students can apply for a loan with their respective universities, who will then forward the applications to CHED for approval. The commission will then endorse students’ applications to DBP, which will advise students to open accounts at its nearest branch.
De Vera said the short term student loan program makes use of the existing financial assistance programs of schools, which allowed students to apply for loans as soon as needed.
“We did not want to have a new one because many universities, especially private universities, have an exisiting student loan program already working…. The effect of this is we’re really increasing the amount or the money that it available for students,” De Vera added.
Other things to know: Under the program, short term loans will have 0% interest, as long as students repay the borrowed amount on of before the end of the semester.
If students do not repay their loan by then, an interest rate of 6% or “the prevailing interest rate in the Philippine Dealing System” will be charged for the academic year the loan was taken out.
Students availing of loans will also be prioritized according to the following conditions:
- Students have not yet availed of the tertiary education subsidy or applied for TES but did not get it due to limited slots
- Students are not part of the social welfare department’s Listahanan 2.0
- Students are enrolled in a private university or technical and vocational education training center
- Students are first-time applicants
Graduate students, medical students, and law students can also apply for loans again as long as they have paid off their undergraduate loans.
Meanwhile, CHED said they were still in the process of drafting guidelines for a long-term student loan program, which is also required by RA 10931. – Rappler.com