DTI renews partnership deal with microlender CARD

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THE Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Inc. (CARD) is committing an additional P100 million pesos to its micro-financing partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

In a statement, DTI said that it signed a memorandum of understanding on Dec. 16 to renew the partnership with the micro-financing non-government organization.

The renewal involves increasing CARD’s Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program revolving fund to P300 million since their partnership began in 2017.

The P3 program was created to provide alternatives to predatory “5-6” loans by providing low-interest, no collateral loans for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Managed by the Small Business Corp. (SB Corp.), P3 lends entrepreneurs P5,000 to P200,000 through CARD and other credit delivery partners.

CARD founder and chairman emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip reported that CARD has disbursed P600 million in P3 loans to around 56,000 borrowers since 2017. CARD targets a P100 million yearly increase in its P3 allocations, funding about 100,000 entrepreneurs.

“DTI benefits from the partnership since CARD supplements the P3.5 billion P3 allocation from the government with their own funds,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez was quoted as saying.

CARD is one of the country’s largest micro-financing institutions, serving seven million borrowers nationwide. — Jenina P. Ibañez