CHED allots P1 billion for short-term student loan program

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.

CHED, DBP officials sign a memorandum of agreement on the short term student loan program with a P1 billion allocation @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/MyxLRXCG2t — Sofia Tomacruz (@sofiatomacruz) April 17, 2019

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:

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

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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