State-run Land Bank of the Philippines said it has expanded the coverage of its direct loan program for students to cover the purchase of electronic gadgets needed for online learning.
Under the enhanced I-STUDY (Interim Students’ Loan for Tuitions towards Upliftment of Education for the Development of the Youth) Lending Program, Landbank is now offering a loan of up to P50,000 per student to finance the purchase of learning gadgets such as laptop, desktop or tablet, that can be included in the maximum loanable amount of P150,000 per student or P300,000 per parent-borrower to cover payment for tuition or enrolment-related fees.
Furthermore, students of legal age are now eligible to apply for the Landbank I-STUDY Program if they meet eligibility requirements. When the loan program was initially launched last year, only parents and guardians or benefactors of students could apply for the financial assistance.
“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,” said Landbank president and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.
The Landbank move to expand the I-STUDY credit facility comes at the heels of recent government pronouncements for the continued implementation of distance learning as a measure against the spread of Covid-19.
The enhancement of the I-STUDY Program also includes the increase in maximum age eligibility of students from 30 years old to 50 years old; inclusion of scholar students whose scholarships do not fully cover their tuition fees; and the coverage of non-scholar students from private pre-school, primary and secondary schools.
Meanwhile, Landbank has approved as of February 16, 2021 loans amounting to P531.5 million to 16 educational institutions through the ACADEME (ACcess to Academic Development to Empower the Masses towards Endless Opportunities) Lending Program. The program aims to boost the capacity of private academic institutions to implement a ‘study now, pay later’ scheme for its students.
The ACADEME Lending Program forms part of the bank’s support to the education sector which offers credit to private and non-DepEd high schools, private Technical-Vocational and Education Training (TVET) institutions, and private Higher Education Institutions (HEls) such as colleges and universities to provide continuing education to their students.
The program offers the ‘3-3-3’ feature, with a P3-billion-program fund in credit support, a very low fixed interest rate of only 3% per annum, and payable based on the maturity of the sub-promissory notes but not to exceed three years.