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DTI to expand Pondo Para sa Pagbabago

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THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it aims to cover more micro enterprises and entrepreneurs under its Pondo Para sa Pagbabago (P3) after meeting its initial goal.

In a mobile message on Tuesday to reporters, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the P3 program has hit its goal of providing financing for 62,000 micro enterprises, while the current budget can provide funds for another 18,000.

“We can hit about 80,000 with the current P2 billion funding because we are able to relend the repaid loans and now total approved loans have been P2.4 billion coming from a P2 billion funding,” Mr. Lopez said.

The agency also awaits the approval of its budget which includes the P1.5 billion that is added annually to the P3 program to benefit more entrepreneurs.

Under the P3 Program, entrepreneurs can get between P5,000 up to P200,000 in loans, depending on their business needs and repayment capacity with no collateral requirement.

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Interest rate and service fees, all in, do not exceed 2.5% monthly.

The establishment of the P3 program was meant to fulfill President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s directive to wipe out usurious lenders under the so-called 5-6 scheme.

Access to finance is one of the many concerns of micro enterprise and is one of the issues aimed to be resolved under the administration’s Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development Plan 2017-2022 to help MSME growth in the country. — J.C.Lim

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