By: Daniza Fernandez – Reporter / @DFernandezINQ
INQUIRER.net / 11:33 AM September 07, 2022
MANILA, Philippines — A program seeking to assist college students through loans which will be paid after graduation has been stopped, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) said, citing an “extremely low” payment rate.
CHEd chairperson Prospero de Vera said that government found itself forgoing some loans through the “Study Now, Pay Later Program” because most of those who availed were not able to get jobs after graduation, therefore could not make enough money to pay off their loans.
“The payment rate was extremely low. It was less than 10 percent. The government was unable to collect because after the students graduate, government is unable to go after them anymore because if they don’t get jobs after they graduate, how can they pay their loans?” de Vera said during the Senate Committee on Higher, Technical and Vocational Education hearing on Wednesday.
“So, the CHEd has stopped the Study Now, Pay Later Program because it is a Study Now, Pay Never Program,” he added.
Sara: Pay hike for public teachers to cause closure of more private schools
READ: Schools get loans for ‘study now, pay later’ plan
To help cash-strapped students, the CHEd allocated P1-billion under the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (Unifast) for enrolled students.
The fund will be used to extend loans to students which they will have to pay before they graduate college, De Vera explained.
“It is a system similar to what some of our universities like UP (University of the Philippines) is implementing now,” the chairman said.
“UP has a loan program where the students borrow and if they pay it within the school year, there is no interest. Otherwise, they have to pay it before they graduate. They cannot graduate if it is not fully paid,” he elaborated, noting that it is “better” than the Study Now, Pay Later Program.
Earlier, CHEd was castigated by Senator Risa Hontiveros who filed a resolution seeking to investigate the P7-billion “questionable releases” under Unifast.