The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is pushing for the passage of a bill institutionalizing a government program to provide affordable financing for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the 18th Congress.

In a speech delivered during the National MSME Summit 2019 recently, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the proposed P3 (Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso program) bill aims to institutionalize the P3 Fund as a measure to eliminate the need for informal lending sources, such as “5-6 lending”, through the provision of collateral-free micro loans.

“We can now reach out to entrepreneurs at the grassroots through the program.”

“Through this program, we can now reach out to entrepreneurs at the grassroots and the marginalized communities and assist them to start or grow their business,” Lopez said.

As of May 31, 2019, the P3 program already released P3.10 billion to 83,088 beneficiaries. These comprised of borrowers from Marawi and Boracay, as well as families of soldiers killed or wounded in action.

Established in 2017, the program is now available in 80 provinces through 339 accredited conduits. In the pipeline for accreditation are conduits from eight more provinces.

The trade chief said the bill’s salient features include the creation and/or institutionalization of the P3 Fund, and regular fund sourcing through the General Appropriations Act.

It also includes a proposed 2.5 percent monthly interest rate to be imposed on the loan availed of by fund beneficiaries, and the granting of authority to the MSMED (MSME Development) Council to exercise oversight function on the utilization and disbursement of the P3 Fund, among others, the trade head added.

“The end goal would be more programs and services to support more MSMEs.”

Lopez assured that the end goal of the enactment of the P3 bill, along with the amendments of the Magna Carta for MSMEs, “would be more programs and services to support more MSMEs.”

Lopez added that the DTI is likewise pushing for the amendment of the Magna Carta for MSMEs, including such provisions as extension of the mandatory allocation of credit resources to set aside 10 percent of their loan portfolio for lending to these firms.

He pointed out that this will provide an alternative compliance through lending by microfinance institutions (MFIs) and cooperatives as conduits.

The amendments will also strengthen the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.), both in terms of capitalization and exemption from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ supervisory powers on quasi-banking operations, Lopez said.

“Lastly, there will be a provision of free shelf allocation by private malls and supermarkets of at least 10 percent of their total selling area to qualified MSMEs, among others,” he added.


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