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DTI lends P3.10B to MSMEs

July 17, 2019

Total amount of loans released under the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program already reached P3.10 billion as of May 31, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Tuesday.

During the National MSME (Micro, small, and medium enterprises) Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the amount benefitted 83,088 MSMEs in the country.

“Of this amount, P5.7 million were released to 457 borrowers in Marawi, P25.89 million to 335 families of soldiers killed or wounded in action, and P3.14 million to 108 borrowers in Boracay,” said Lopez.

The P3 program being implemented by the DTI through the Small Business Corp. allows a micro entrepreneur to borrow P5,000 up to P200,000 depending on his/her business need and repayment facility.

No collateral requirement is needed and interest rate and service fees do not exceed 2.5 percent monthly.

Lopez said the program is now available in 80 provinces through 399 accredited conduits. He said conduits from eight more provinces are in the pipeline for accreditation.

“From what I learned, there will be an additional P1.5 billion funding for the program this year,” he said.

“DTI through the Small Business Corporation also inked a partnership with ePLDT subsidiary Curo Teknika (Curotek). This parnership will allow MSMEs who wish to avail of the P3 program to speak to a P3 contact center agent through P3 hotline,” he added.

Lopez said the move will enable the government to reach out to entrepreneurs in marginalized communities.

The DTI chief said they are also pushing for the passage of a bill to institutionalize the P3 program. “There’s a P3 bill so that we can institutionalize already the P3 allocation. In the original plan, the [funding] supposedly is P4 billion annually for four years. It [bill] could be refiled,” said Lopez.

“Frankly, we just want to build and institutionalize it in effect. In other words, even if there’s a change of administration, the funding is already in the law,” he added.

Lopez said the program was created to counter the “5-6” money lending system to provide affordable micro financing fund for local entrepreneurs.

Earlier, he said a total of P30 billion is circulating around the Philippines through the 5-6 money lending scheme.

“Although the [P16 billion] is enough, what’s important is we have a medium-term allocation. The more we lend it out, it competes to the 5-6. In fact, in some areas where we have the P3, those in the 5-6 which gives 20 percent interest rate, they are now offering 5 percent,” said Lopez.

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