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TO FIGHT ‘5-6’ MONEY LENDING SCHEME: P3 guidelines up; DTI set to introduce national conduits

MAKATI CITY --- As funds for the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) expected to be released anytime soon, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and its micro-financing arm Small Business Corporation (SB Corp) have ironed out the guidelines of its implementation that will help micro entrepreneurs throughout the country. Being the administration’s program to provide an affordable micro-financing for the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the P3 funding program provides micro enterprises an alternative source of financing that is easy to access and made available at a reasonable cost. “We’re very much excited because this is our vision in the agency—to help underprivileged by giving better chances to elevate from poverty. Through this micro-financing program, those from the bottom of the pyramid will get to climb the ladder by expanding their businesses,” DTI – Regional Operations Group (DTI-ROG) Supervising Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said. DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez is set to introduce the national conduits and local Micro-financing Institutions (MFIs) for the P3 program. The Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) is a P1B financing program intended to give MSMEs better access to finance and to reduce their cost of borrowing. The fund will also give priority to the country’s 30 poorest provinces. Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to replace the “5-6” money lending system, the P3 is also seen to help stabilize supply and cost of commodities in public markets, encourage small entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, and offer employment and generate income for Filipinos. The P1 billion fund of the P3 program from the Office of the President will be coursed through the SB Corp., which will accredit partner institutions such as non-bank MFIs, cooperatives and associations to serve as conduit for the P3 funds. With borrowers identified through these, collection of repayments will be efficient. “We’re very grateful that this Program has become a reality. MSMEs now have an option to avail of cheaper funds to expand their business,” Maglaya explained. The P3 Program was launched in Tacloban in Leyte on January 25, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro on January 27, and Alabel, Sarangani last January 30. The primary beneficiaries of the P3 Program are microenterprises and entrepreneurs that do not have easy access to credit. These include market vendors, agri-businessmen and members of cooperatives, and industry associations. P3 will also make it easy for borrowers since it will only require minimal documentation requirement; easy to access with only one (1) day processing of application; low cost interest at 2.5% per month; and easy payment with collection on a weekly or daily basis, as necessary. Loan amounts to end-borrowers will range between P5,000 and P100,000, with no collateral requirement.

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