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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Solon assails loan sharks-PRC insiders connection

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Loan sharks with connections in the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) may be behind the scheme forcing the teachers with unpaid debts to settle their obligations lest they can cannot renew their teaching licenses, a party-list lawmaker said Monday.

ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro said the teachers being victimized by the unholy alliance mostly have outstanding debts non-government lenders or usurers, particularly the so-called “5-6” scheme which exact exorbitant interest rates.

In some instances, the loan sharks would even offer jewelry to the teachers so they would fall deeper into debt.

“These lenders are not accredited by the Department of Education. These are loan sharks),” Castro revealed.

She warned that teachers face a “double-whammy” deal. Aside from failing to renew their licenses, they were also being sued by the loan sharks to force them to pay.

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Unpaid debts with non-government lenders should not be a condition for the teachers to renew their professional licenses, Castro said.

The lawmaker expressed suspicions that the loan sharks have connections with PRC insiders.

Castro raised the debt-tagging scheme during the congressional deliberation of the Labor department’s 2023 proposed budget last week.

“I have been trying to resolve this with PRC for a year, but the tagging has continued. There was no other choice but to open the issue to the public,” she said.

The PRC under the previous administration had committed to look into the issue, Castro said.

Meanwhile, the ACT Teachers party-List also filed a bill seeking to raise Filipino nurses’ basic pay to P50,000 a month in a bid to compensate the healthcare workers for their hard work and to prevent them from seeking employment abroad.

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