Time to pay now
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
One of the most admirable programs that the government had made available to the youth is the “Study now, pay later plan” that was aimed to help children of underprivileged families acquire a college education when their parents cannot afford it.
Since its implementation, thousands of poor students have taken advantage of the program that is operated as a sort of long-term loan, which they have to start paying back after they have finished the courses they have chosen to take up, and are already earning from their application.
There is no doubt, therefore, that many families have availed of the privilege, and have managed to see their children acquire certificates or college degrees that would enable them to do better than their parents in their lives.
Sadly, however, the government agencies supervising the program are finding out that many of the students they have helped in this manner, seem to have forgotten their obligations after having completed their studies and already earning salaries. This is evident in the latest call of the Commission on Higher Education for many of such graduates to remember and to honor the contracts they had signed, promising to repay the amounts loaned to them, so the funds could be used to help those coming after them. To make matters worse, the Commission on Audit is also pressing on the CHED on the whereabouts of the amounts loaned out that have remained unpaid far beyond the ten-year limit given.
Now the CHED is calling on the schools and the communities where those students belong to help locate them and remind them to meet their obligations. The latest is that the National Bureau of Investigation has even been asked to help locate those student borrowers.
If there are such beneficiaries of the Study Now-Pay Later Program in our communities, let us appeal to them to pay their obligations now. There are thousands of other students who, like them, could be benefited with the return of the funds they had already taken advantage of.*