Angara seeks creation of institution for student and teacher loans, capital outlay

October 6, 2011 10:34 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 6 — Senator Edgardo Angara urged on Thursday the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to create a central government institution that will provide affordable and accessible financial assistance to both students and teachers, including capital outlay for the construction of laboratories and buildings for both private and public schools.

Angara made his suggestion to CHED president Dr. Patricia Licuanan during the ongoing Senate hearing on the proposed P23.6-billion budget of the State Universities and Colleges for 2012.

"We need to look for a long-term, and not just band-aid, solutions to the perennial problem we face every year during budget deliberations: lack of funds for capital outlay, and unrest among students because of yearly tuition increase," said Angara.

The national government has not allotted budget for capital outlay for SUCs for the past few years.

Angara, chairman of the Senate committee on education, arts and culture, suggested to look into the possibility of working with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Land Bank to finance this program.

"We can ask the national government to provide a seed capital of P5 billion so our government banks can set up a window that will provide assistance for the twin needs of financial assistance and capital outlay," he explained, adding that such programs have been set up in Latin America, and can be replicated in the country.

Angara said the money is available through government banks with DBP and the Landbank having P9 billion and P2 billion reserves each year, respectively.

”They are government banks after all, and instead of keeping this much money, we must spread the benefit to those who need it,” Angara said.

Angara stressed the urgency of these initiatives, explaining that such a program could provide students, teachers and schools with assistance throughout the year.

"If we are able to do this, then we will be able to stabilize higher education in the country,” Angara said. (PNA) scs/jfm

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