Senate Bill No. 1458: Study Now Pay Later Plan of 2013

One of the enduring legacies of the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino, Jr. is the “Studv Now, Pay Later” Program. It was designed to give every Filipino access to tertiary education, with the belief that this will enable more Filipinos to get better jobs with better incomes, and help them get ahead in life.

Thirty years after Ninoy Aquino’s death, as we push for inclusive growth for every Filipino, we also seek to strengthen the Study Now, Pay Later Program to ensure that every Filipino who wishes to take up tertiary-level studies will be able to do so.

The strengthened Study Now, Pay Later Program (SNPLP) proposes that an Education loan Fund be established to make zero-interest loans available to eligible student beneficiaries to cover tuition and other school fees and education-related expenses towards the completion of college degree courses or vocational and technical courses.

Under our proposed program, the Education Loan Fund shall be administered by an Education Loan Fund Board headed by the chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Among its functions, the Board shall be responsible for establishing systems for the following:

(1) The effective disbursement and collection of loan payments, including but not limited to: arranging for the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Social Security System (SSS) to act as the authorized and official collection agencies for loan repayments; and

(2) Proper tracking and monitoring loan recipients, including but not limited into entering an agreement with various concerned government agencies including the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), GSIS, SSS, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Bureau of Immigration (BI), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and the Credit Information Corporation, as well as private and public banks and intermediaries, credit information bureaus, and other financial institutions, inclusive of investigating and checking the whereabouts of loan recipients, and setting up mechanisms for blacklisting of defaulting borrowers in applications for loans, credit cards, and other credit facilities.

These mechanisms seek to make it easier and more convenient for beneficiaries to pay for their loans while making it more efficient for government to collect loan payments. These are meant to ensure that the Study Now, Pay Later Plan can become a long-term program of the government with benefits that are extended to even more beneficiaries.

At present, the government’s Study Now Pay Later program for the school year (Z013-Z014), covers 538 beneficiaries nationwide with an average loan of Php 60,000 per qualified student per year.

Since the program was re-Iaunched in 1999, at least 16,907 students have already received student loans amounting to a total of Php217 million. However, the CHED reports that, as of December 2012, only Php26.8 million or 12.36 percent of these loans have been repaid.

Thus, it becomes imperative that we strengthen and improve the system, especially on the loan repayment side, to ensure that funds are ploughed back to the government to give more students the opportunity for tertiary-level education.

In view of the foregoing, the early approval of this bill is earnestly sought.



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