Landbank extends P260 million loan to 3 private schools

Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - July 7, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — State-run Land Bank of the Philippines has extended P260 million in loans to three private educational institutions, enabling them to support their students amid the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.

In a statement, the DOF said the Landbank board of directors chaired by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez has approved the loan applications of three private schools, worth a combined P260 million, under the Access to Academic Development to Empower the Masses towards Endless Opportunities (ACADEME) lending program.

The DOF said the loan applications came from the initial batch of over 80 educational institutions who have expressed interest in accessing the credit facility launched in May this year.

In a report to Dominguez, Landbank president and chief executive officer Cecilia Borromeo said six other schools have partially submitted their documentary requirements for the program as of July 1, while one loan application will be up for approval when the bank’s board and credit committee meets in the fourth week of July.

“We continue to pursue opportunities to offer this program to as many eligible schools as possible through various means available,” Borromeo said in her report.

Borromeo said follow-through meetings are being undertaken by Landbank with 15 other schools to assess their loan eligibility.

The P3 billion ACADEME credit facility was launched by Landbank to enable private educational institutions to offer “study now, pay later” schemes to their students who were affected by the pandemic.

Under the program, promissory notes issued by parents or benefactors of students will be refinanced or rediscounted.

Eligible schools can borrow up to 70 percent of the sub-promissory notes on a per semester basis, subject to a maximum amount based on the school’s net borrowing capacity.

The lending program is available until June 30, 2021.

Loans under the program carry an interest rate of three percent per annum, with a maximum payable period of three years.

According to Landbank, the lending facility is open to private junior and senior high schools with permits to operate from the Department of Education, as well as private technical-vocational and education training institutions regulated by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Landbank said private colleges and universities may also avail of the program if they offer undergraduate programs authorized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

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