DTI to pilot-run Php 1-B microfinance program this month

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is set to pilot-run a Php 1.0-billion microfinance program for local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) this month.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the microfinance program, dubbed as "Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso," or P3 Program will be implemented in Mindoro, Sarangani, and Leyte, which are among the 30 poorest provinces in the country.

"The P3 is designed to bring down the interest rate at which microfinance is made available to micro enterprises," said Lopez.

"Fund delivery to microenterprises shall be carried out in either by wholesale lending to non-bank financial institutions like MFI-NGOs, and cooperatives which shall on-lend the fund to beneficiaries or by direct lending by SB (Small Business) Corp.," the DTI chief noted.

For start-ups, the government can lend from Php 5,000 to Php 300,000 with no collateral requirement. Maximum interest rate is at 26 percent per annum.

Moreover, P3 allotted Php 100 million for direct lending by SB Corp., the financial arm of DTI.

"Target loan beneficiaries are the small enterprises in priority and emerging industries, start-up businesses and technology innovators," DTI said.

Earlier, Lopez said the administration eyed to roll out microfinance worth Php 1 billion per region to help local MSMEs grow.

Source: Philippines News Agency