MANILA — Small Business (SB) Corp., the financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), wants to partner with more remittance centers in the country as it rolls out the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso or P3 Program in Marawi City.
SB Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Ma. Luna Cacanando said in a phone interview Tuesday that the government was open to partner with more remittance centers who would release the loans and would receive the payments from the borrowers.
Cacanando said SB Corp. started this mechanism last December with its partnership with Cebuana Lhuillier.
She said around PHP2.3 million was released in Marawi City to some 300 borrowers.
The DTI, through the SB Corp., provided direct lending to internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by the fighting in Marawi City, to immediately respond to the needs of entrepreneurs in the city.
Cacanando explained that the DTI offices in Marawi and Iligan were responsible in identifying the eligible P3 borrowers and briefed them about the microfinance program of the administration.
She also said that the government would be providing zero-percent interest rate P3 loans for Marawi IDPs until end of April this year.
She added that the DTI would also be releasing another PHP1 million this week as P3 fund in Marawi.
The SB Corp. chief said the government targeted some 1,000 IDPs in Marawi to benefit the P3 Program.
Under its 2018 budget, the DTI allotted about PHP1 billion for the funding program nationwide.
The P3 Program was launched last year to give better financial access to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), particularly in the 30 poorest provinces in the country.
Through this microloan program, the government can lend PHP5,000 up to PHP100,000 at 2.5 percent interest rate, which is much lower than the 20 percent yield in loan sharks like the “5-6” lending scheme.
Cacanando said SB Corp. targeted to bring in more conduits in Marawi City to help the government in rolling out the P3 Program in war-ravaged Marawi City.
This initiative is part of DTI’s effort under the Duterte administration’s Task Force Bangon Marawi.