SMALL BUSINESS Corp. (SB Corp), the financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has released almost P40 million in loans to Marawi City’s internally displaced persons and uniformed personnel to help the city rebuild after the five-month siege in 2017.

“In line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to continue the programs helping our kababayan in Marawi, especially those who have been affected by the siege, DTI will ensure that entrepreneurs will be back on their feet,” DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said.

“Our goal is to bring back the vibrant business of the city, as well as provide jobs and livelihood to Maranaos.”

SB Corp has provided P7.595 million in loans to 457 Marawi entrepreneurs under the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso or P3 program. Each beneficiary availed of loans between P10,000 to P20,000.

Launched in 2017, P3 is a financing program for small businesses intended as an alternative to predatory “5–6” lending schemes.

SB Corp also extended loans to wounded soldiers and the families of those killed in action in the Marawi siege under the Wounded-And-Killed in Action (WIA-KIA), an offshoot program of P3.

As of Oct. 18, P30.92 million has been released to 402 uniformed personnel, with loans ranging between P40,000 to P100,000.

The agency earmarked P50 million in lending for the P3-Marawi program, which includes WIA-KIA.

The loan assistance for Marawi follows Administrative Order No. 03, which mandates the creation of an inter-agency Task Force Bangon Marawi for the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of Marawi City, including providing livelihood to internally displaced persons in the area.

The DTI leads the business and livelihood subcommittee of Task Force Bangon Marawi, to fast-track the recovery of businesses in the city. — J.P. Ibañez