LAND BANK of the Philippines (LANDBANK) expanded the coverage of its lending program for students to offer them up to P50,000 in credit to buy electronic gadgets for their online schooling.

The state-run bank said in a press release on Wednesday that it extended its Interim Students’ Loan for Tuitions towards Upliftment of Education for the Development of the Youth or I-STUDY lending program to form a sub-credit facility where loans can be used to buy laptops, desktops or tablets.

A student can borrow up to P150,000 under the I-STUDY lending program while a parent-borrower can take out up to P300,000 for tuition and other enrolment fees. The maximum loanable amount already includes the allocation for the gadget purchase.

Students of legal age or those at least 18 years old can tap the lending facility directly, LANDBANK said. When the lending program was initially launched last year, only parents and guardians could apply for the loans.

“LANDBANK recognizes the need to support students in adapting to distance learning modalities. While we await the resumption of in-person classes, we hope that the I-STUDY Program can help students cover the financial requirements to purchase needed learning equipment and participate in online classes,” LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo was quoted as saying.

The state-run lender said it expanded the lending program as the government has continued to mandate remote schooling.

It also increased the maximum age of students looking to tap the facility to 50 years old from 30 and included scholar students.

As of Feb. 16, the bank had granted P531.5 million in loans to 16 schools under its “study now, pay later” program. — BML