Following the recent launch of the Landbank Mastercard Prepaid Card (LMPC), 25,161 Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) grantees from 135 higher education institutions in Central Visayas for the first semester of the academic year 2020-2021 will be able to “easily and safely” receive their stipend despite the pandemic, said the Commission on Higher Education (Ched).
Ched, through its attached agency, Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (Unifast), in partnership with the Landbank of the Philippines, launched on Jan. 15 the LMPC for beneficiaries of the TES program.
According to Ched Chairperson J. Prospero E. De Vera III, the LMPC is intended to address the challenge of disbursing financial assistance to more than 700,000 TES and Tulong Dunong Program grantees nationwide during the pandemic.
Aside from disbursing stipend to students under the TES program, the LMPC can also be used as a payment card anywhere in the world where Mastercard is accepted, such as ATMs, point of sale, and e-commerce or online.
Other features of the LMPC include no required maintaining balance, reloadable for free via the Link.BizPortal, transfer and cash out funds through Landbank branches and agent banking partners nationwide, among others.
During the virtual launch of the LMPC, Landbank President Cecilia Borromeo assured that students will receive their TES stipend in a “timely, safe, and convenient manner.”
Member-agencies of the Unifast board expressed full support of the initiative. These member-agencies include the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations, Association of Local Colleges and Universities, and Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges.
In a video message, President Rodrigo Duterte reminded students of their obligation to use education to improve themselves so that they can contribute to their families, communities, and the country.
In December 2020, Ched 7 pilot-tested the LMPC through 50 TES grantees from Cebu Technology University (CTU).
CTU student and TES grantee Marc Janssen Aquino said that having an LMPC card is a good idea because of how the public is discouraged from going outside their houses due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
He said that the LMPC is easy-to-use and convenient. He applied online and only took him five minutes to redeem the card.
Aquino is among the student-beneficiaries in Central Visayas where P645.59 million worth of TES stipend needs to be disbursed to its TES grantees for the first semester of the academic year 2020-2021. (SunStar Cebu/From PR)