Great news for Filipinos looking to start a business. The government launched a lending program called Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3).
They started the program last March and is ongoing. As per earlier reports, they will lend money to 10, 500 micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) this year alone. “The P3 is designed to bring down the interest rate at which micro-finance is made available to micro enterprises,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
So who can borrow from this lending program?
With a Php19 billion worth of funds for the next five years, P3 aims to finance micro, small, and medium businesses. Furthermore, they want to eliminate the 5-6 lending that charges 20% of interest per month.
The eligible people who can borrow are people who own small-medium businesses. The government is giving priority to these businesses that can’t afford bank loans. Businesses such as:
- Market vendors
- Cooperative members and associations and;
How much would be the loanable amount and interest?
One good thing about this lending program is that collateral is not required. The minimum loanable amount is Php5, 000.00 and the maximum amount is Php300, 000.00. For the interest, it shall be 2.17% monthly; a big difference compared to the 20% interest rate of 5-6 lending businesses.
“Fund delivery to micro-enterprises shall be carried out in either by wholesale lending to non-bank financial institutions like MFI-INGOs and cooperatives which shall on-lend the fund to beneficiaries or by direct lending by SB Corp,” Lopez said. So in short, among the government’s priorities are entrepreneurs who don’t have easy access to credit.
Which places or provinces would get the most out of this lending program?
The allocated budget of the program for this year is P1 billion. The program was first launched in the provinces of Mindoro, Leyte Islands, and Sarangani. These places are among the top 30 poorest provinces in the country. Eventually, we hope and look forward to this program being spread nationwide. To give you an idea, here are the top 20 poorest provinces in the Philippines:
1. Lanao del Sur (ARMM region)
2. Sulu (ARMM region)
3. Sarangani (Region 12)
4. Northern Samar (Region 8)
5. Maguindanao (ARMM region)
6. Bukidnon (Region 10)
7. Sultan Kudarat (Region 12)
8. Zamboanga del Norte (Region 9)
9. Siquijor (Region 7)
10. Agusan del Sur (Caraga)
11. Eastern Samar (Region 8)
12. Lanao del Norte (Region 10)
13. Mountain Province (CAR region)
14. Western Samar (Region 8)
15. North Cotabato (Region 12)
16. Catanduanes (Region 5)
17. Leyte (Region 8)
18. Negros Oriental (Region 7)
19. Zamboanga Sibugay (Region 9)
20. Sorsogon (Region 5)
What are the requirements and procedure in availing this program?
Just like any other program, you would have to submit requirements/documentation. This is to prove the legitimacy of the business you are declaring. You would have to submit:
- 2 Government-issued IDs (Original and photocopy)
- Business Name Registration
- Mayor’s Permit
- Market Clearance
After completing the above, you would have to be aware of the procedure.
Step 1: Visit the nearest Negosyo Center in your area. Inquire about the P3 Program.
Step 2: Duly accomplish the application form that will be given to you then and there.
Step 3: The Small Business Corp., as an attached body of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), may conduct customer intelligence (CI) or background investigation on your application to determine your capacity for the loan you are wanting to accomplish.
Step 4: Fully be attentive with what the organizations will require of you for your documents. The ones listed above are just the basic documents.
Step 5: Your loan will be released upon the completion of the background investigations and your documents.
In the absence of SB Corporation branches in your area, you can also visit accredited microfinance institutions or cooperatives.
Take note that the application for the P3 program is free. Furthermore, they DO NOT entertain individuals or groups who are recruiting and asking for accreditation fees, placement fees, etc. in exchange for the arrangement of immediate release of loans.
This is to know if you are transacting with accredited institutions contact SB Corporation in your area or the nearest Negosyo Center.
**NOTE: These agencies may require you to submit more than what is listed above. Prepare for it and prepare all other documents that you think will be needed for the application.
Wow! For starters, the government is now avoiding burden for Filipinos. With this Pondo sa pagbabago at pag-asenso, small businesses can now be improved. Furthermore, the interest rates is not at all heavy. If you have a small business and are looking to improve it, what are you waiting for?
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