THE government is boosting its Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program with an expanded network of credit delivery partners to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) access loans more easily.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through government-owned and -controlled corporation Small Business Corp., introduced yesterday 10 new credit delivery partners from rural areas for its P3 program.
These partners — which may be rural banks, cooperatives or market vendor associations — help the P3 program by processing loan applications from MSMEs. They will act as underwriter for loan applications and monitor registered P3 accounts.
Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a program in Pasay City that having a wide network of credit delivery partners is seen to increase the number of MSMEs to benefit from the government lending initiative.
“For this to thrive and for this to have high repayment rates, we have to partner with (financing institutions), cooperatives… because you would have a better understanding of the situation on the grassroots because you’re already there,” he said.
The 10 new credit delivery partners come from Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan, Marikina City, Cebu City, Davao City, Surigao del Sur and Quezon Province.
With the new partners, SB Corp. now has a total of 353 credit delivery partners helping lend to almost 90,000 MSMEs across the country. The total loans disbursed to micro- entrepreneurs under the P3 program stood at P2.9 billion as of July 23.
Started in 2017, the P3 program aims to discourage the use of loan sharks, which are known for the “5-6” scheme by offering MSMEs with loans from P5,000 to P200,000 with a 2.5% monthly interest.
“The P3 is supposed to replace about P30 billion — worth of ‘5-6’ (lending),” Mr. Lopez said, noting the government has to “reach out to more (MSMEs).”
One of the long-term plans of the DTI for the program is to have a law signed that will institutionalize P3 with a P4-billion budget allocation.
“We will ask for the President to certify it (P3 bill) urgent, because in the first place, this was started by that brainstorming with (him). The main purpose is really to institutionalize the program. Ibig sabihin kahit wala na kami [Which means even when we’re gone], there will be a P3 program para sa mga micro (for MSMEs),” he said. — Denise A. Valdez