A bill introduced in the Senate aims to defer payment of student loans in public and private schools during similar disasters and emergencies, including the coronavirus pandemic.
Senate Bill 975 proposes to provide a moratorium on the collection of all fees, charges, and costs related to student loan programs at colleges, universities, and technical and vocational institutions.
“Many of our compatriots have lost their jobs and sources of income due to calamities such as earthquakes, typhoons and, more recently, due to the pandemic. That is why I am promoting this bill to reduce the burden on parents who send their children to school when they are hit by a disaster or a pandemic,” Senator Manuel said. “Lito” Mr Lapid said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Let’s aim to temporarily ease the burden of disaster-affected families in any student loan liabilities, so they can focus on more basic and important day-to-day expenses,” he added.
The moratorium would cover the period from the declaration of a national and local state of calamity or emergency to 30 days after its end. If this period exceeds 60 days, payment of the student loan and related fees will be further deferred to the following semester or term.
The bill also protects the eligibility for enrollment or graduation of students benefiting from the moratorium.
According to the bill, no government subsidies will be given to private schools to cover possible cash flow problems, according to the director of Mr Lapid‘s legislative office, Abelardo P. Maglanque.
“For short-term situations, schools will need to absorb the financial hit caused by the postponement,” Mr. Maglangue said Business world in a Viber message.
“But in the longer term, we are willing to seek government financial institutions to take over,” he added.
Mr Lapid said they were aiming to get the bill approved “as soon as possible.” If adopted, it will be applied retroactively for those affected by the coronavirus health emergency. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan