DBP provides higher education financial assistance

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In pursuing its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda, the Manila-based Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has designed the “DBP Higher Education Loan Program for Students (DBP-HELPS)” to provide financial assistance in the form of educational loan to deserving students in the tertiary level through lending to qualified Educational Institution (EI). This is a scheme that extends loan or credit to deserving students who are entering freshman college or tertiary students with college units earned. This program is an extension of the DBP Endowment for Education Program (DEEP) intended to fast track compliance with the Philippine government’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG). DBP-HELPS adopts the DEEP’s general framework design and policy initiatives to develop the country’s human capital into productive and competitive global citizens. Greater flexibilities are thus exercised under this program to enable a broader base of qualified student borrowers to access funding assistance for higher education. DBP-HELPS shall cater to a market niche of student borrowers possessing capacity to borrow and repay loan. An eligible Educational Institution (EI) borrower should be owned by Filipino citizens organized under the Philippine laws with at least seventy percent (70%) of its capital stocks owned by citizens of the Republic of the Philippines, and should satisfy the following minimum requirements: transparency and good governance practices; proven level of excellence; tie up with employers/manning companies; absorptive capacity to implement the DBP HELPS; strong support for the DBP HELPS advocacies; and track record of performance. While student borrowers, to be qualified under the DBP HELPS, must possess the following minimum qualifications: at least high school graduate; of good moral character, excellent academic performance; and mental and physical fitness to undergo and complete the program. With only one year of implementation, this program has accumulated a total of almost PhP400 million projects in the pipeline covering almost 1,000 student borrowers enrolled in 16 educational institutions (EI) under various selected courses. Over 50% of the student borrowers are into maritime education to support the huge demand for Filipino seafarers. DBP’s “Higher Education Loan Program for Students (DBP-HELPS) was winner of the ADFIAP Outstanding Development Project Award 2014 under the Development Finance-led Poverty Reduction category.

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