Senator Bam Aquino urged rural banks to expand their services to more small businesses, saying many local entrepreneurs still need access to reasonable loan packages that can help them grow their business.
Aquino issued this plea during his speech at the 60th Charter Symposium of the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP).
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa RBAP sa inyong pagsisikap na maabot ang ating mga kababayang nangangailangan ng serbisyong pinansiyal. Marami pa po ang nangangailangan ng ating tulong,” said the legislator.
During his time as a social entrepreneur, the lawmaker learned that lack of financing poses a big challenge for micro, small and medium enterprises as it hampers their development.
“So when I became a senator, we focused on policies that can help support our MSMEs in the Philippines,” the youthful senator pointed out.
One of them is finding ways to link MSMEs to financial institutions, including rural banks, to help their search for fresh capital to start or expand their businesses.
In his four years as senator, he worked for the passage of Republic Act 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act, the first of his 19 laws as legislator.
The law mandates the establishment of Negosyo Centers in every town, city, municipality, and province of the country to serve as support hubs for entrepreneurs.
As of now, there are over 600 Negosyo Centers across the country that link MSMEs to suppliers and markets, providing training and support and connect them to sources of capital and financing.
As its principal sponsor and co-author, the lawmaker also pushed for the enactment of Republic Act 10679 or the Youth Entrepreneurship Act , which mandates the inclusion of financial literacy and entrepreneurial training will be included in basic education.
“This will help groom young Filipinos to be responsible with their money and savings,” said the senator.
Aquino also passed other laws in support of MSMEs, such as the Philippine Competition Act, Foreign Ships Co-Loading, Microfinance NGOs Act and the Credit Surety Fund Cooperative Act.
In the 17th Congress, he has filed the Philippine Islamic Financing Act, National Payment Systems Act and the Secured Transactions Act, measures that will help enhance the credit-worthiness and bankability of Filipinos, particularly small business owners.