Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has granted P330 million in loans as of mid-August under its “study now, pay later” scheme, the Department of Finance (DoF) said in a statement on Monday. 

The DoF said the loans will be extended to four schools that tapped the state-run lender’s P3-billion credit facility after securing approval from the board. Six more loan applications are now up for approval this month while five applicant schools have yet to complete their requirements.

There were over 60 schools that expressed their interest in the program when it was launched, the DoF said.

The lending program refinances or discounts promissory notes issued by the students’ parents, where schools can borrow up to 70% of the value of the promissory notes per semester and subject. The loan bears a fixed interest rate of three percent per annum.

Educational institutions eligible for the “study now, pay later” scheme are private high schools, private technical-vocational education training institutions, colleges and universities. The program is available until June 30, 2021.

Meanwhile, LANDBANK also has an ongoing P1.5-billion lending scheme where parents can borrow up to P300,000 to pay for their students’ tuition fees. The loan carries an annual interest rate of five percent.

The program is dubbed the Interim Students’ Loan for Tuition toward Upliftment of Education for the Development of the Youth (i-STUDY).

The two credit facilities were offered to help families whose incomes were sharply reduced amid the ongoing crisis so their children can still enrol this coming school year. 

LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo said the bank’s initiative was “in response to President (Rodrigo R.) Duterte’s call on the institution to support students during this time of crisis.” 

“This program will not only help families who have kids they want to send to school, but will also assist private schools and downstream industries to sustain and continue their operations,” Ms. Borromeo was quoted as saying. 

The DoF said parents with children in the primary and secondary levels can avail of the short-term loan with one year maturity while loans for students in tertiary level are payable for up to three years, inclusive of a one-year grace period. — BML