LANDBANK launches P3-billion loan program for private schools

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Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK)

LAND BANK of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has rolled out a P3-billion lending program for private schools to aid them in their “study now, pay later” scheme for students amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement on Tuesday, LANDBANK said it has allotted P3 billion for its ACADEME or Access to Academic Development to Empower the Masses towards Endless Opportunities lending program to extend credit to private high schools, private technical-vocational education training institutions, colleges and universities.

The credit support will let these academic institutions help their students continue their studies via “study now, pay later” schemes.

The loans carry an interest rate of three percent per annum and are payable “based on the maturity of the sub-promissory notes but not to exceed three years.”

“Given the financial constraints brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, LANDBANK is financing interventions to ensure that students will be able to enroll in school when classes finally resume. The LANDBANK ACADEME Lending Program supports the education sector in providing students greater access to quality education amid the health crisis we are all facing,” LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo was quoted as saying.

The bank’s ACADEME program provides schools refinancing or rediscounting for promissory notes from students issued by their parents.

Schools can borrow as much as 70% of the sub-promissory note per semester and subject. However, LANDBANK said schools can only borrow up to a certain maximum amount based on the net borrowing capacity of the institution.

The loans will be issued per semester, either in lump sum or in parts, and will be credited directly to the bank account of the school.

Institutions eligible for the lending program include private junior and senior high schools with permits to operate from the Department of Education and private technical-vocational education training institutions regulated by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

LANDBANK said private colleges and universities can also avail of the program if they offer undergraduate programs authorized by the Commission on Higher Education.

The lending program is available until June 30, 2021. — B.M. Laforga