By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Micro entrepreneurs around the country will now have access to cheap and easy credit as the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) will now be made available nationwide starting on May 31, 2017.
DTI Undersecretary for Regional Operations Zenaida Maglaya said the administration’s brainchild of micro-finance facility encourages micro entrepreneurs to borrow money from P3 that will help them finance their businesses.
“P3 is intended to help the underprivileged Filipino entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses. With this program, they can access cheap and easy credit without any hassle. After filling out a half-page application and presenting necessary documents, the money can be released within the day,” Maglaya explained.
With sufficient funds to provide to borrowers, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and its micro-financing arm Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) will lead the implementation that will assist micro entrepreneurs financially and enable them to grow their businesses.
Being the administration’s program to provide an affordable micro-financing for the country’s micro entrepreneurs, the P3 funding program provides micro enterprises an alternative source of financing that is easy to access and made available at a cheapest cost.
“After we’ve launched the P3 in Tacloban, Occidental Mindoro, and Sarangani in January 2017, P3 is now going nationwide. We hope this will encourage micro entrepreneurs to patronize the government’s program so we can eliminate loan sharks,” Maglaya said.
National conduits and local Micro-financing Institutions (MFIs) have already been accredited by the SB Corp. to assist in distributing the funds to micro entrepreneurs. The national level conduits are Radiowealth Finance Company (RFC), Taytay sa Kauswagan, Inc. (TSKI), and Mindanao Alliance of Self-Help Societies-Southern Philippines Educational Cooperative Center (MASS-SPECC).
Meanwhile, 18 local (MFIs) are accredited in Luzon, 6 in Visayas and 3 in Mindanao. A total of P104.9 million have been released to P3 conduits as of today (May 31, 2017).
P3 is a P1-billion 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, eliminate loan sharks, and offer employment and generate income for Filipinos.
The R1-billion fund of the P3 program from the Office of the President will be coursed through the SB Corp. with accredited 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.
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. A total of P7.7 million have been released to individual borrowers in these pilot areas: P3.5 million in Mindoro, P2.2 million in Sarangani, and P1.8 million in Leyte.
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 range between P5,000 and P100,000, with no collateral requirement.
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