DTI releases P5.4B in loans

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The Department of Trade and Industry has allowed the expansion of dine-in services in general community quarantine and modified general community quarantine areas, at 50 percent and 75 percent capacity, respectively, as part of measures to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 health crisis on businesses.*

About P5.42 billion worth of loans were released by the Department of Trade and Industry, through its financing arm Small Business (SB) Corp., under its Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso or P3 Program, as of June 2020.

In the DTI’s technical report to the Office of the President, it said 150,320 individuals have benefitted from the microfinancing program of the government that aims to provide financial assistance to Filipinos who would like to start their own businesses.

The DTI launched the P3 Program in 2017, giving Filipinos better access to finance for them to avoid tapping loan sharks, like the ‘5-6’ lending scheme.

The program started with a P1 billion budget. The government can lend from P5,000 to P200,000 under the P3 Program, with interest rate not exceeding 2.5 percent.

This was also one of the initiatives that the DTI rolled out in Marawi to help displaced residents and military personnel affected by the five-month battle in the city in 2017.

The DTI said P7.6 million was released to 457 borrowers in Marawi and P32.45 million released to wounded in action soldiers as well as families of those killed in action during the siege.

The DTI has partnered with various microfinance institutions (MFIs) to roll out the P3 Program, particularly in rural areas.

Currently, the SB Corp. has 434 MFI partners and there are MFIs with pending application with DTI to launch the program in six provinces in the country.

“Through P3, DTI reaches out to entrepreneurs at the grassroots and the marginalized communities and assist them to start or grow their business,” the DTI said.*PNA

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