By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) officially announced the call for the first batch applicants of student loan program for tertiary education (SLPTE).
The SLPTE-Short Term, CHED said, is one of the programs under Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTEA) with a P1 billion allocation for AY 2018-2019. “It is open to qualified student borrowers enrolled in state universities and colleges (SUCs), CHED-recognized local universities and colleges (LUCs) and private higher education institutions (HEIs) listed in the Registry of Institutions and Programs,” the Commission added.
CHED noted that an “initial maximum loan amount of P60,000 may be used for tuition and other school fees, books, tools, equipment, stipend, and/or for license exam fees.” It added that as “an incentive to student borrowers,” there will be “no interest” charged if the loan is “paid within one year from date of loan approval.”
In April this year, CHED announced that P1 billion has been allotted for short-term student loan program which is open to students from public and private universities. The CHED, led by its Chairman Dr. Prospero De Vera III, signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) for the provision of P1 billion for the implementation of the government’s short term student loan program.
Under the financial assistance program, students who wish to avail of the short-term loans will be prioritized based on certain conditions: they should have not yet availed of the tertiary education subsidy or applied for Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) but did not get it due to limited slots; they are not part of the social welfare department’s Listahanan 2.0; they are currently enrolled in a private university or technical and vocational education training center; and that they should be first-time applicants.
The deadline for the first batch application for the SLPTE-Short Term is on August 15, 2019. Interested applicants are enjoined to visit their school’s Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) focal person or coordinator. Students may apply for the short-term loan in their respective universities. Their applications will then be forwarded to CHED for approval. Earlier, De Vera noted that the SLPTE makes use of the existing financial assistance programs of schools.
Signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017, the RA 10931 provides free higher education which will cover tuition, miscellaneous, and other fees in SUCs and CHED-recognized LUCs; a Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES); free Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for those enrolled in state-run Technical Vocational Institutions, and a Student Loan Program (SLP).