Small Business Corporation (SB Corp), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Regional Office of DTI 12 through the DTI Sarangani launched the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-Asenso (P3) .
Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso or P3, as explained by SB Corp President, Mr. Brillo N. Reynes, is a funding program to provide microenterprises an alternative source of financing that is easy to access and made available at a reasonable cost. This program gives a boost to the development of the MSME sector, particularly the microenterprises that comprise about 90% of registered enterprises in the country.
Reynes explained that P3 Program Funding is in line with the President’s directive to provide affordable micro-financing program for MSMEs. The d2017 General Appropriations Act (GAA) included Php 1.0 Billion for financial assistance subsidy to microenterprises under the P3 Program. Depending on the performance of this initial funding, P3 may be scaled up and included in the GAA for subsequent years.
Usec. Zenaida C. Maglaya explained in her keynote speech addressed to the guests particularly to the microenterprises and entrepreneurs, the main beneficiaries of the program, that as the primary beneficiaries of the program, they no longer have to access credit at very high interest because P3 is already here to provide assistance to their financing needs at a very affordable interest rate. She identified market vendors, agribusiness men and members of cooperatives, Industry associations and cooperators as P3’s target beneficiaries.
Addressing those present in the launching, DTI undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya emphasized that, because the fund is from the government the borrowers should be prudent in paying their responsibilities on time so that others may access the fund as well.
As a highlight of the launching program, SB Corp awarded loan certificates to twelve initial beneficiaries amounting to P285,000 and another nine beneficiaries the following day with a total of P190,000.00. Most of the loan beneficiaries are MSMEs whose stalls are located in the Alabel Public Market.
SB Corp, an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shall administer the P3 Program. Aside from creating a Program Management Office to oversee the management and monitoring of the P3 Fund, SB Corporation will make use of its lending network and the DTI Negosyo Centers in reaching out to P3 beneficiaries. It shall manage the P3 Fund through separate books (from SB Corporation proper) that will be subject to COA audit.
The Small Business Corporation (SB Corp) will deploy the P3 Fund through two modes of delivery. The more extensive distribution system will be under wholesale lending where SB Corp will partner with conduits. These are selected micro-finance institutions, cooperatives, associations and other organizations.
P3 Funds are still to be drawn from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). In the meantime, SB Corp will already be working out the operating mechanics with some members of the Microfinance Council of the Philippines Inc. (MCPI) and of the National Confederation of Cooperatives Inc. (NATCCO).
Loan amounts to end-borrowers will be from P5,000 to P100,000, at a maximum interest rate of 2.5% per month, with no collateral requirement. The rate compares well with the 10-20% per month charged by other fund providers.