Sen. Bongbong Marcos: We need student-friendly repayment scheme to ensure success of “study now-pay later” programs of the government

8 March 2011

On 1 March 2011, the Senate heard various bills seeking to beef up school financial assistance programs, particularly by establishing a national student loan program. Senator Bongbong Marcos said that the Department of Education (DepEd) should carefully study the feasibility of the measures as well as analyze the successful model programs, taking cue from the varied experiences, good and bad, of other schools in the world. Senator Marcos noted the experience in some schools in England and in the United States, whereby students were not able to timely meet their loan obligations to their schools, such that their delinquencies extended even after they have graduated. The hearing revealed that the Philippines is no stranger to the phenomenon in the Western countries, since, according to the DepEd, student loan programs presently in use in the Philippines have a dismal repayment rate of 0%, although the rate has recently improved to 4%. Senator Bongbong thus emphasized that with the undesirable experiences here abroad, the government, through the DepEd, should all the more be able to avoid pitfalls, and craft and implement a better student loan program “with a repayment scheme that is both efficient and workable whereby students would not be saddled by payment obligations long after graduation.”