MANILA — Thirty private schools are interested in a “study now, pay later” program by the Land Bank of the Philippines, which aims to ensure the continued education of students during the coronavirus pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte said in a report released Monday.
In his report to Congress, Duterte said most of the 30 educational institutions that were willing to avail of the Access to Academic Development to Empower the Masses towards Endless Opportunities (Academe) program were located in Metro Manila.
The chief executive added that 4 schools have already submitted partial requirements for the loan.
The Landbank has approved a loan application worth P250 million under the program, he said.
“To further promote the program, the [Landbank] has been arranging teleconference meetings with school administrators and sending information materials to potential borrowers via traditional and electronic mail, as well as traditional and social media,” Duterte said in his report.
For the program, the Landbank has allotted P3 billion in credit support for private schools, technical-vocational education training institutions, and colleges and universities.
Duterte earlier asked private schools to allow staggered payment of tuition after families and individuals suffered income losses due to the pandemic.
The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations has estimated that around 2 million private school students are expected to either transfer to public schools or drop out from studying this year after their parents’ incomes were affected by the pandemic.
As of Monday, 329,656 learners have enrolled in private schools nationwide, according to data from the Department of Education.
Last year, 4.3 million students were registered in private schools.