SSS bares guidelines of P7B educational loan facility

MANILA, Philppines - THE Social Security System has announced the terms of its new P7 billion loan window for college education and skills training.

SSS officer-in-charge Edgar Solilapsi said members earning P10,000 or less a month can apply for the Educational Assistance Loan Program (EALP) to enable them or their dependents to defray enrolment costs for college, vocational and technical courses.

Members with at least 36 contributions ? including three monthly premiums within the past 12 months ? are eligible to borrow for educational expenses of one beneficiary. The member must also be paying premiums based on a monthly salary credit of P10,000 or lower.

Maximum loan amount per semester or trimester is P15,000 for college and P7,500 for a vocational or technical course, which must be a two-year degree program or higher. Loan releases will be made payable to the school and must be used for tuition and miscellaneous fees only. The school must be accredited by the Commission on Higher Education or the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Members can have up to three years to repay the loan for tech-voc courses and up to five years for college degrees. The grace period repayment, which will start on the date of the final loan release, is 18 months for semestral courses and 15 months for trimestral programs.

To apply, members must accomplish a loan application form and submit a school-issued billing statement to their nearest SSS branch. Application forms are available at SSS branches or may be downloaded from the SSS website

Ateneo holds confab on addressing armed conflicts

The Ateneo Department of Political Science-Working Group on Security Sector Reform, together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, OJ3, will hold a two-day conference on May 30 and 31, at the Ateneo de Manila University.

Entitled "Addressing Armed Conflicts through Collaborative Efforts: Focus on the AFP's IPSP (Internal Peace and Security Plan) Bayanihan," the activity hopes to bring together national and local government units as well as civil society groups in a two-day conference to look into the efforts of the military, as well as to discuss successful political interventions, challenges, spaces of engagements, and remaining things to be done to finally convince the armed groups to abandon the violent means to institute change.

The funding of the conference is sourced from the Australian Aid and The Asia Foundation.

Speakers include LtGen Emmanuel Bautista, Commanding General of the Philippine Army, MGen Romeo Calizo, AFP-Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Cong. Mel Sarmiento of Samar, Gov. Oscar Moreno of Misamis Oriental, Usec Panadero of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Undersecretary Vicente Agdamag of the National Security Council, and Assistant Secretary Danilo Francia of the Department of National Defense.

Expected to grace the occasion, too, are Sec. Teresita Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, and Gen. Jesse Dellosa, Chief of Staff of the AFP.

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4 teachers among GUMIL MM officers

Retired Quezon City RTC Judge Vivencio S. Baclig, a published fictionist who teaches law at a Manila University, has been chosen president for 2012-2014 of GUMIL Metro Manila, the group of Ilocano writers in the metropolis.

Three other teachers - two of whom have recently retired - join the new set of officers following election at the Maki Haus in Quezon City on May 20. They are Eden Bulong (treasurer), Ma. Rose A. Cabie (PRO), and Joy Dilan (director).

Other elected officials are Palanca awardee Ariel Tabag, vice president and poetry editor of Manila Bulletin's weekly sister publication Bannawag.

Other officers are Sherilyn Viloria (Cagayan, secretary); Ross Deritt (Isabela, auditor); Angelo "Eloy Padua (Pangasinan); Benn Cabacungan (Ilocos Norte); Virgilio Tabugadir (Cagayan); Staff Sgt. Leonardo Fagaragan (ret., Ilocos Norte); Martin Rochina (Ilocos Sur); and Simeon Berroy (Abra), directors.

Baclig, took his oath of office before Juan S.P. Hidalgo, Jr. of Rosales, Pangasinan, among the pillars of Iluko literature and former managing editor of Bannawag. The other officers in turn were inducted into office by Baclig, who last year retired as judge of a Regional Trial Court in Quezon City.

GUMIL Metro Manila, formally established in 1968 under its first president Dr. Hermogenes Belen of La Union, is a group of Ilocano essayists, short story writers, novelists, poets, playwrights, orthographers and other writers.