April 23, 2018, 7:41 am
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MSMEs get another P1B

The Small Business Corp. (SB Corp.), the micro-financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), will set aside P1 billion for year 2018 to continue the flagship program that will provide micro enterprises an alternative source of financing that is easy to access and made available at a reasonable cost.

The  amount would go to the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3), a financing program intended to give micro, small and medium enterprises  better access to finance and to reduce their cost of borrowing and battle loan sharks preying on micro entrepreneurs. 

The fund will also give priority to the country’s 30 poorest provinces.

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 program was launched nationwide in April, with an initial funding of P850 million, making available lower cost loans to Filipino micro entrepreneurs who are engaged in small business such as sari-sari stores and are vulnerable to usurious lenders in the absence of an alternative source.

 Zenaida Maglaya, DTI  undersecretary, said through the P3, micro entrepreneurs can find relief from overly expensive borrowings and afford cost-efficient and affordable form of loan to add and expand their businesses.

 “Through the P3, sectors can find relief from overly expensive borrowings as they pursue their livelihood activities,” Maglaya said.

 As of November 24,  a total of 16,210 micro entrepreneurs have been aided by P3 with four national micro finance institutions (MFIs) and 90 local conduits assisting in delivering the micro-loans in the countryside while 45 MFIs are in the pipeline. 

A total of P485.41 million has been released to partner conduits and P307.80 million released to microfinance borrowers. 

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 requires minimal documentation requirement; easy to access with only one-day processing of application; low cost interest at 2.5 percent per month; and easy payment with collection on a weekly or daily basis, as necessary.

 Under the P3 Program, a micro enterprise can borrow between P5,000 up to P100,000 depending on its business need and repayment capacity with no collateral requirement. Interest rate and service fees, all in, do not exceed 2.5 percent monthly, which is a huge relief from the 20 percent monthly rate under the 5-6 loan system.
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