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Help available for some education staff buried under mountain of debt


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Help available for some education staff buried under mountain of debt
By CHULARAT SAENGPASSA
THE NATION

 

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New govt welfare programme begins; but only ‘reasonable cases’ will get aid

 

BANGKOK: -- AFTER working as an education official in the seaside province of Trang, Wichai (whose surname was withheld) had an ambition to set up his own business. But his venture collapsed and left him with debt of Bt12 million. 

 

Wichai is on the verge of bankruptcy but has his fingers crossed that the Office of the Welfare Promotion Commission for Teachers and Educational Personnel (Otep) will agree to help. 

 

If Wichai goes bankrupt, he will automatically lose his job because laws bar a bankrupt person from serving in the government sector. And with the loss of his job, he will be in even deeper trouble. 

 

His colleague, Wipanan (surname withheld), is in equally bad financial shape, with outstanding debt of Bt17 million.

 

“I’ve sought loans from various sources to invest in a property business but my investments did not generate the returns I had expected,” she said. “When I failed to make repayment on time, even the banks imposed a very high interest rate on me, let alone loan sharks.” 

 

She is trying to sell her house to clear part of her huge debt and, like Wichai, desperate for help from Otep. “If I am declared bankrupt and dismissed from civil service, how will I go on with my life?” Wipanan lamented.

 

She was willing to repay her debts via Otep, she said, which has been planning to offer a low interest rate of just 3.5 per cent to teachers and education officials in debt crises. 

 

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Pitsanu Tulasuk, the acting secretary-general of Otep, confirmed that a welfare programme has started to help teachers or education officials deep in debt crises. But he made it clear that not all in debt would be rescued. 

 

“We will deliver help in reasonable cases. We will do background checks and so on,” he said. 

 

Pitsanu said Otep has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 17 cooperatives in 17 provinces to implement the welfare programme. 

 

In each province, the local cooperative and local branch of Otep will set up a screening committee to determine which teachers and education officials get help. 

 

Between 700 and 1,000 teachers or education officials who face imminent bankruptcy lawsuits or property forfeiture will be given priority, if their loan records are justified. 

 

Pitsanu, who is also deputy permanent secretary for Education, said the welfare programme had an initial budget of Bt1 billion, so it could never cover all 1.4 million teachers and education officials in debt.

 

“When the first batch of beneficiaries make repayments, we will have the budget to help others too,” he said. As of Thursday, the programme had attracted applications from 10,545 teachers and education officials. More than 1,000 were from Sakon Nakhon province. 

 

When asked about Wichai’s and Wipanan’s cases, Pitsanu said the two definitely would not rank among the first batch because their cooperative had not yet signed an MoU with Otep. Pitsanu also emphasised that there would be strict screening criteria to ensure the money used for this welfare programme was well spent. 

 

“The programme will also educate participants about HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Sufficiency Economy Philosophy and expense-reduction tips,” he said. 

 

The programme had been introduced partly because the Government Savings Bank (GSB) had reported that up to 70,000 teachers and education officials had not paid for loans they took out, even when their funeral-savings had been put forward as collateral. 

 

The GSB and Otep will meet today to discuss measures to boost repayments by teachers and education officials working in the government sector. “We know the GSB offers up to Bt3 million in loan amount,” Pitsanu said. 

 

The GSB is one of the many sources that teachers and education officials can get loans. Savings cooperatives for teachers and education officials are more often than not generous about their financial needs. At present, there are several types of loans that teachers and education officials can get from cooperatives. There are loans for not just emergencies but also investments and quality-of-life improvements. 

 

Pitsanu said those who join the welfare programme will not be allowed to take out such loans again. 

 

Sunan Lamsap, a 59-year-old retiree, said he joined an early-retirement scheme four or five years ago because he was overwhelmed with debt. 

 

“My early-retirement benefits are more than Bt1 million. But even with that amount, I cannot clear all the debt. That’s why I started changing my lifestyle. I have now embraced a sufficiency economy [outlook]”. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30315196

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-05-15
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Although it is far too late now, the best help they could have received, was education, to not get into these ridiculous debt situations in the first place.

The amount of money some people with Government jobs are allowed to borrow is sometimes staggering.

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The scope and scale of the problem is very likely even worse than what is reported above (as we all know how government agencies like to sugar coat their figures). And as said by Thaiwrath above, the amounts of money that government employees are free to borrow are eye watering. From living here it has been clear to see that getting everything on finance is the norm, Thai people from what I've seen and heard simply don't view loans and finance packages in the same way as people do in more developed countries.

I imagine the enforcement arms for defaulters, especially those in the government sector are weak as an institution. I don't see these trends improving anytime soon

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54 minutes ago, Thaiwrath said:

Although it is far too late now, the best help they could have received, was education, to not get into these ridiculous debt situations in the first place.

The amount of money some people with Government jobs are allowed to borrow is sometimes staggering.

My sister in law is a Govt teacher in a state school as is her husband. The ease at which they can borrow money truly is amazing.

Every year there seems to be another scheme that helps them take out a further loan either to roll over existing debts or buy the latest computer.

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1 hour ago, Jeremy50 said:

I you don't have the money, don't buy it. Is it really that difficult to understand? Bunch of fools.

Exactly & it sums up most Thai related businesses 

But at least they had a shot at trying to run a business with no doubt no modelling plan - That's why the Chinese are walking all over them

& who knows maybe a family member even hocked a house to help

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I think the sad and unfair thing would be that taxpayers will have to bail them out. The Thai government cannot let 1.4 million teachers be declared bankrupt. The whole Thai education system will collapse.

In the end, the government will continue to use taxpayers money as 'bad non-performing loans' to teachers. There is no way the teachers can pay 1 trillion baht nor can 1.4 million teachers go bankrupt (therefore be fired as a teacher). Taxpayers will have to foot the bill for a completely mismanaged scheme.

Worrisome how much debt the country is in: rice scheme, submarines, teacher loans, etc.


Sent from my iPad using Thaivisa Connect

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Are they not self inflicted  problems,like Bad management and failing to plan a business infrastructure before one start.Why would one bail them out? same with a lot of Farmers, self destruction that's what this is ,Then Cry to the Government to bail them out ,so the can do it again? Not very smart isn't it?

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8 hours ago, webfact said:

“I’ve sought loans from various sources to invest in a property business but my investments did not generate the returns I had expected,” she said. “When I failed to make repayment on time, even the banks imposed a very high interest rate on me, let alone loan sharks.” 

Ah yes banks and loan sharks. Its hard to differentiate. When teachers cannot make a go of a business here one must wonder about all the small operations end to end on every street in Thailand. A teacher should be teaching business model ideas not practicing bad ones. 

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It's a bit worrying, to say the least, so many Thai teachers can't do simple arithmetic and work out that you can't afford to spend more than you earn. 

 

Heaven help our kids when those "professionals" paid to ensure they leave school properly equipped to make their way in the workaday world are incapable of behaving like responsible adults.

 

The more I learn about Thai education(sic), the more I am starting to consider homeschooling. Or, alternatively, just getting my ten-year-old to give her teachers some maths lessons.

Edited by Krataiboy
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9 hours ago, song0674 said:

I think the sad and unfair thing would be that taxpayers will have to bail them out. The Thai government cannot let 1.4 million teachers be declared bankrupt. The whole Thai education system will collapse.

In the end, the government will continue to use taxpayers money as 'bad non-performing loans' to teachers. There is no way the teachers can pay 1 trillion baht nor can 1.4 million teachers go bankrupt (therefore be fired as a teacher). Taxpayers will have to foot the bill for a completely mismanaged scheme.

Worrisome how much debt the country is in: rice scheme, submarines, teacher loans, etc.


Sent from my iPad using Thaivisa Connect

It's not only this episode 

every time you look at the news there is some sort of bail out

The banks & loan sharks are laughing & i bet you will find the Chinese banks/lenders right on top

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Set up his own business but it collapsed. Why collapsed? Perhaps you're an idiot and know nothing about running a business? And ignored the risk and consequences of business failure? Now you cry foul, look for gov't handout to save your sorry ass. Idiot.

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20 hours ago, digger70 said:

Are they not self inflicted  problems,like Bad management and failing to plan a business infrastructure before one start.Why would one bail them out? same with a lot of Farmers, self destruction that's what this is ,Then Cry to the Government to bail them out ,so the can do it again? Not very smart isn't it?

Correct.. same as with the farmers.. doing stupid things.. doing things that are not going to work.. not wanting to change only wanting to be bailed out. Who pays for it.. the normal taxpayer.. no wonder they get pissed off to see their tax money get squandered on lost causes. Only because farmers are a nice voting block (to win ellections with) and teachers cant go bankrupt or they have to leave their job and there are not enough teachers. 

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23 minutes ago, jerojero said:

Set up his own business but it collapsed. Why collapsed? Perhaps you're an idiot and know nothing about running a business? And ignored the risk and consequences of business failure? Now you cry foul, look for gov't handout to save your sorry ass. Idiot.

Yes it is idiotic.. totally crazy that hardworking people have to pay the bill while these types get to start over with a clean slate. 

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17 hours ago, Krataiboy said:

It's a bit worrying, to say the least, so many Thai teachers can't do simple arithmetic and work out that you can't afford to spend more than you earn. 

 

Heaven help our kids when those "professionals" paid to ensure they leave school properly equipped to make their way in the workaday world are incapable of behaving like responsible adults.

 

The more I learn about Thai education(sic), the more I am starting to consider homeschooling. Or, alternatively, just getting my ten-year-old to give her teachers some maths lessons.

I don't think its a matter of math.. just greed... and looking at things more positive then they really are. As an accountant i seen many instances of clients underestimating cost and overestimating turnover. Its not about math.. its about how careful you are and if your blinded by profits or can see the risks. 

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