President Rodrigo Duterte said 30 private schools are interested in a ‘study now, pay later’ program by the Land Bank of the Philippines, which aims to provide loans for continued schooling as the COVID-19 pandemic upends the education system.
Duterte, in his report to Congress on Monday, said most of the schools were based in the National Capital Region and wanted to avail of the Access to Academic Development to Empower the Masses towards Endless Opportunities (Academe) program.
Four of the private schools already submitted partial requirements for the loan, the President added.
“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.
The LandBank has allotted P3 billion in credit support for private educational institutions, including colleges, universities, and technical-vocational education training institutions.
So far, the President said the Landbank has approved a loan application worth P250 million under the program.
The Department of Education (DepEd) earlier said it expects enrollment in private schools to drop due to circumstances triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The government earlier appealed to private schools to allow the staggered payment of tuition as many families lost income due to lockdowns in the past few months.
Last week, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers urged the DepEd to hire private school teachers who might lose their jobs due to the low enrollment turnout.