February 10, 2017
Cayetano lauds DTI's P3 program, vows to continue fighting for MSME growth
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano thanked the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for its early launching of Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program for the benefit of the country's micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
DTI officially launched the program this month in three pilot areas - Mindoro, Sarangani, and Leyte - to enable small entrepreneurs to sustain and expand their businesses without depending on usurious 5-6 money lenders.
The project aims to provide an alternative source of financing for small entrepreneurs, which can be easily accessible, with a maximum of 2.5 percent interest, and with no collateral requirement.
Cayetano expressed optimism that with the anticipated successful experience, the initial funding of P1 billion allotted in the 2017 budget for the program will be increased by Congress for 2018, until it reaches the planned P19 billion funding for micro and small businesses in the next five years.
He said he fully supports increasing DTI's budget, provided that the agency could ensure that the poor will benefit the most from the initiative.
The senator has been a staunch advocate of MSME growth since his successful reelection campaign in 2013, during which he launched his PTK (Presyo, Trabaho, Kita) platform in an effort to address Filipinos' pressing problems, including the lack of access to capital to sustain their own livelihood.
The PTK has so far provided financial grants to over 190 MSME cooperatives. These grants were used by the cooperatives to provide easily accessible loans to their members.
"I am grateful that the administration has found a way to turn our campaign promise into reality," Cayetano said, referring to the promise that he and Duterte made during the 2016 elections to allot additional funds for a more accessible government program on micro-finance.
The senator urged the DTI to closely observe the regulations and guidelines that it has set in the granting of loans to cooperatives.
"I look forward to the continuous expansion of this initiative, with the expected P18 billion additional funds to be distributed to all provinces in the country," Cayetano stressed.
"I trust that this micro-financing initiative, which serves as an alternative to 5-6, will also be affordable enough to allow starting entrepreneurs to get access to capital without the need for laborious procedures and unreasonable interest rates," he added.
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