DTI to file bill funding MSME lending at P4 billion a year

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Ramon M. Lopez
Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez -- PHILSTAR

THE TRADE DEPARTMENT said it hopes to make a lending scheme known as Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) more permanent via legislation, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said during the 2019 National MSME Summit on Tuesday.

“We’re proposing a P3 bill so that we can institutionalize the P3 allocation. We could still go through the budget but at least there’s more certainty (of a) budget allocation every year,” Mr. Lopez said.

The P3 lends to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the wake of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s directive to eliminate the “5-6” system of usurious informal lending. P3 started in 2017 and has about 83,000 registered borrowers.

Mr. Lopez said that the plan is to have an allocation of P4 billion per year over four years.

The DTI said the market for 5-6 loans is estimated at about P30 billion nationwide.

“We want to kill 5-6 and put it aside. Kailangan may kapalit (there needs to be a replacement). So ang kapalit mo dapat medyo close to that amount. (The replacement needs to be close to that amount),” he told reporters.

An additional P1.5 billion to fund P3 will also be put in place with the new budget, he said in his speech during the summit. — Katrina T. Mina