Last November, the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture (MYSC) launched a campaign to collect outstanding loan repayments from Youth Development Fund (YDF) beneficiaries.
The campaign aimed to encourage all YDF beneficiaries to pay back their loans as contractually obliged following signed agreements with the government through the ministry. For years, the ministry has been complaining and accusing youth beneficiaries of being reluctant to service their loans.
The campaign was themed ‘Akola ke Akole’, which literally translates to ‘you benefit, I benefit’, to urge defaulters to pay back loans so that others can also benefit. MYSC’s permanent secretary, Kago Ramokate said P3.6 million has been collected, although they missed their target.
“We have managed to collect P3.6 million as compared to our target of P4 million. It was encouraging looking at the fact that a majority of businesses are currently struggling because of COVID-19 (the coronavirus).
If it were not for the pandemic, we are currently faced with, we would have reached the target or more,” he said.
Ramokate added that a majority of the beneficiaries contacted them to discuss their payment plans, something he said was a commendable move.
However, he raised a concern about the majority of the funded businesses that have been doing great in the market, but the beneficiaries were reluctant to pay.
He supported the above point by revealing to have been visiting the youth-funded
He went on to encourage beneficiaries to refrain from failing to repay their loans, stating that not doing so will end up forcing the ministry to take legal action against them. “The beneficiaries should not forget that it is easy to take them to task because they have signed a memorandum of agreement with us. Failure to pay back their loans also disadvantages those on the waiting list. There are some beneficiaries who have not attempted to pay, something that is of great concern and action will soon be taken against those defaulters.
Those who benefit from procurement of tenders should be on the forefront and pay,” he said. He revealed that the ministry was owed close to P400 million as debt from funded projects. This money could be used to fund other projects, Ramokate bemoaned. The ministry has been failing to collect the debt as there was no reliable tracking process. In the past, it was reported that a majority of projects had collapsed and there was no action taken to recover the assets from the projects for proper disposal.