Beginnings to a PH Student Loan Program

In Australia, we have what is called the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS now called HECS-HELP) where a resident can use to pay for his college degrees. In recent years, a similar scheme for technical vocational programs (VET-HELP) and many more financial support programs were introduced for various types of student needs. In most if not all of them, payment is made once the person gets a job and reaches a certain level of income. The money given is actually a loan is adjusted to the cost of inflation (Consumer Price Index) which is conceptually lower than the cost of money (interest rate) This recent initiative of the Philippine government may be a start to developing a similar student loan program. Let’s hope they will expand this to even those not yet working.

Gov’t okays P11.2-B educational package  


MANILA, Philippines – Aquino administration has approved an P11.2-billion educational assistance package.

The so-called Educational Assistance Fund Program (EAFP) will be implemented through the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Social Security System (SSS).

In a statement yesterday, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said the EAFP would allow 200,000 SSS members and 1.4 million GSIS members to receive funding assistance for four-year degree programs as well as  technical and vocational courses.

Abad said the move is alsp part of the government’s move to help strengthen the country’s workforce.

“The Aquino administration understands that higher education is vital in strengthening the country’s work force. The P11.2 billion should help ease the financial burden for SSS and GSIS members who want to obtain their degrees or finish tertiary schooling,” Abad said.

Furthermore, Abad said EAFP would allow member-beneficiaries to improve their skills as essential to the workplace.

Of the P11.2 billion set for the program, the Budget department will provide P5 billion, an amount certified by the Bureau of Treasury as part of the excess dividend collections remitted by government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs).

A counterpart funding of P6.2 billion will come from GSIS and SSS.

GSIS members will get P4.2 billion while P7 billion will be allotted to members of the SSS.

The Budget department also said that the GSIS will extend a P4,000 loan amount at six percent interest payable over a five-year period for all beneficiaries.

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