A Guide from Rhiz on Finding Purpose in Crisis

Bea Carag

Rhiz Manarpaac has been an Investee since June 2018 and is a recent alumna of the InvestEd Student Success Program. In 2019, she graduated from college with a degree in Forestry and started working in her alma mater as a Project Development Officer for one of their university’s local watershed programs.

In mid-March 2020, just before the wave of reports of COVID-19 local transmissions in the country and the following enhanced community quarantine implemented by the government, Rhiz was in the process of transitioning to a new job at the Office of Civil Defense in Quezon City.

However, having felt irregular flu-like symptoms similar to those of the COVID-19 infections (cough, fever, body aches), Rhiz, together with her roommate who also felt the same symptoms and had domestic travel history, went to the hospital to seek medical attention, where they were then tagged as Persons Under Investigation (PUI) and received treatment in quarantine as they anxiously waited for their test results for COVID-19.

An eager Rhiz, who was supposed to move to Quezon City to seize new career opportunities in her new job, unfortunately, had no choice but to delay her new employment and temporarily stop working to recuperate from her condition.

A few days after being admitted in the hospital, President Duterte then announced an NCR community quarantine which eventually extended to the whole island of Luzon, resulting to the disruption of schools, office work, public transportation and daily life as we know it.

Scared and seemingly out of options, Rhiz, who is the eldest of 4 siblings, and one of the breadwinners in their household, reached out to InvestEd about her current situation. She shared that she felt scared and anxious of her employment, her family’s daily expenses and her hospital bill which increased every day she stayed longer in the hospital.

Rhiz had no health insurance, was unsure of her source of income (at that time); and her mother, an elementary school teacher, whose daily wage was just enough to cover their family’s basic needs, also found herself unable to continue work due to school suspensions from the quarantine.

“Ang ganda ng timing nung message na ‘yon [InvestEd’s announcement for emergency loans] dahil hindi ko na talaga alam paano babayaran yung hospital bills at paano tulungan ang nanay at step-father ko dahil hindi ko inexpect na magiging ganun kalaki [ang hospital bills ko]”, Rhiz recalls, on the moment she received the message that she was eligible for emergency assistance from InvestEd.

Rhiz found strength and comfort knowing that InvestEd student coaches were available and willing to share the plight with her and other Investees in the same situation during this difficult time.

As one of InvestEd’s outstanding alumna who has imbibed InvestEd’s values of being Empowered, Upright, Data-Driven and Student-Centric (#EDUC) throughout her journey as an Investee, InvestEd was happy to have responded to Rhiz with an offer for emergency assistance — a special discounted loan exclusive for Investees who have good repayment behavior and have an exemplary coaching record.

This emergency response was mainly designed by the InvestEd team to cater to the needs of current students and alumni of the InvestEd Success Program who are affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Since the start of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), InvestEd has acted swiftly to ensure that help is extended to students in need to recover from income losses, pay for basic food and health provisions during this crisis and transition to a work/study from home set-up.

“Maraming nag-offer na tumulong. Pero as much as possible, ayaw kong dumagdag sa gastusin. Kung may option naman na ako yung sasagot, na ako yung magbabayad in the future, kukunin ko” — this was Rhiz’s sharing on why she thought that availing of an additional loan, instead of seeking help from friends and relatives, would be the best option for her and her family.

It’s much needed good news to hear that Rhiz has surpassed the brunt of the storm and is now on her way to recovery. She has been discharged from the hospital and tested negative for COVID-19.

However, she was diagnosed with bronchitis and has an existing asthma condition and was therefore advised by healthcare professionals to take extra precaution as she has a high chance of contracting severe respiratory infections due to COVID-19.

Rhiz has received financial support from her previous employer, has finally begun working with the Office of Civil Defense under a work from home arrangement and was successful in receiving her emergency loan disbursement from InvestEd to pay for her hospital bills and aid in their family expenses.

Rhiz serves as an example to the InvestEd community, students and fresh graduates that opportunities and dreams never fade away for people with a clear goal and a desire to overcome struggles with resilience and integrity.

Currently, InvestEd is the only student loan company in the Philippines that provides financial assistance and a student success program that helps student borrowers achieve success in their chosen careers. InvestEd believes that every student has the potential to succeed which is its primary reason for believing that “No dream is out of reach”. InvestEd empathizes with the struggles of students everywhere and offers affordable and accessible education support loans to aid young people in achieving their dreams.

Visit http://www.invested.ph to read more about the InvestEd Student Loan