Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez reiterated the government’s commitment to support micro enterprises throughout the country by providing affordable and cost-efficient micro-finance loans through the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program.

We reiterate that the government is committed to support our micro entrepreneurs in setting up and running their businesses with other DTI programs and initiatives,” said Sec. Lopez during the recent P3 National Congress at the Philippine International Convention Center participated by 267 credit delivery partners of the program.

Lopez lauded the Small Business Corporation, the micro financing arm of DTI, for administering the landmark program of the administration and fulfilling the vision of President Rodrigo Duterte to uplift the quality of life of Filipinos.

Following President Duterte’s directive to go after usurious “5/6” money lending system in 2017, the P3 Program was created to provide Filipino micro enterprises affordable and cost-efficient loans.

Under the P3 Program, a micro enterprise can borrow between P5,000 up to P200,000 depending on its business need and repayment capacity with no collateral requirement. Interest rate and service fees, all in, do not exceed 2.5% monthly.

Lopez explained that access to finance is one of the many concerns of micro enterprises—one of the issues highlighted under the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development Plan 2017-2022 to help MSME growth in the country.

To reach micro enterprises in far-flung areas in the provinces, Lopez said that the SB Corp. has tapped the services of micro financing institutes (MFIs) to serve as conduits and deliver efficient and quicker loans to micro enterprises.

With more MFIs, more micro enterprises will patronize the program, thus helping them turn away from “5/6” and other usurious loan systems.

We thank SB Corp., MFI channels, and cooperative partners in turning President Rodrigo Duterte’s vision of P3 into reality by reaching out to Filipinos who need financing and turn them away from “5/6” and other usurious loan systems,” Lopez said.

Likewise, Lopez also lauded both Houses in Congress for filing two separate bills seeking to institutionalize the P3 Program and provide boost to the MSME sector.

If every year we have this allocation for the P3 program, we will be able to reach more MSMEs and it will be easier to eradicate the P30 billion industry of informal money lending,” said Lopez.

Filed in September, Senate Bill No. 2017 or “An Act Providing a Socialized Microfinancing Program for Micro Enterprises Thereby Promoting Entrepreneurship” aims to address financing concerns of micro enterprises throughout the country and help them sustain their businesses.

On the other hand, the House of Representatives in June 2018 also passed a bill that will establish P3 Program as an affordable and easy access alternative source of financing for micro enterprises.

Under House Bill No. 7446 or the “Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso” or “P3 Act,” the House of Representatives seeks the creation of the “Pondo sa Pagbabago and Pag-asenso” or the P3 Fund, which will be made available for beneficiaries such as market vendors, agri-businessmen and members of cooperatives, industry associations, and cooperators.

Latest data show that as of December 4, 2018, the P3 program has assisted 58,078 micro enterprises throughout the country with a total loan release of P1.625 billion.♦

Date of Release: 12 December 2018