Baguio-based coops benefit from Cayetano’s microfinancing program

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BAGUIO CITY – More than 220 cooperatives and organizations composed of farmers, vendors, fishermen, public utility vehicle drivers and small scale workers nationwide have benefitted from the Presyo/Trabaho/Kaayusan (PTK),which provides easy access capital to small entrepreneurs.

As a staunch advocate of micro, small and medium scale enterprise (MSME) program, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano initiated the PTK program in 2013 in an effort to address Filipinos’ pressing problems, including the lack of access to capital to start and sustain their businesses.

Baguio-based cooperatives are among the pioneers which benefited from the PTK grant among of which are the Sariling Sikap Association of Strawberry Farmers, La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post Multi-purpose Cooperative, Benguet Market Plaza Cooperative Multipurpose (BAMAPCOM) and Wright Park Pony Boys Association.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano hailed the officers and members of the Baguio-based cooperatives and associations for being among “most active and successful” since they started to join the program five to six years ago.

“We have started this program to protect the Filipino entrepreneurs from falling into the trap of being indebted to loan sharks or what is popularly known as 5/6 in the Philippines,” Cayetano said.

BAMAPCOM Manager Myrna Aquino expressed her gratitude to Speaker Cayetano for the opportunity provided by the program to their cooperative.

“Sa aming mga malilit na vendor, malaki ang tulong ng kooperatiba para madadagdan ang  aming puhunan. Nagpapasalamat kami sa PTK na sinimulan ni Speaker Cayetano, para sa dagdag ng kapital na nabigay sa amin,” said Aquino.

Mr. Arnel Cayatoc, Manager of PTK program in Wright Park Pony Boys Association cited the difficulty in getting loans from banks and other formal lending institutions so they welcome the grant provided by the PTK program.

“Malaki ang tulong ng programang PTK sa aming grupo. Mahirap makakuha ng pautang sa bangko dahil sa madaming requirements na kailangan kaya malaki ang pasasalamat namin kay Speaker Cayetano,” Cayatoc said.

Among the most successful PTK beneficiary-organizations in other areas of the country include the Cebu City United Vendors Association, New Pritil Market Credit Cooperative (Manila), ASFERJODA (Angeles-San Fernando Jeepney Operators Drivers Association) – (Pampanga), Boracay Public Market Vendors Association (Aklan), Concepcion-Angeles Jeepney Group – (Tarlac).

Speaker Cayetano, in his effort to boost MSME growth, he has filed the HB No.5 or “Puhunan, Tulungan, Kaunlaran” bill, which seeks to institutionalize micro-financing programs through a more comprehensive legislation to ensure broader coverage in various regions, develop productivity and sustainability of micro and small enterprises that will benefit from the program.

“We will use the lessons from our experience in the PTK program to improve system and procedures that can optimize the use of loans and grants from government’s micro-financing program and open more opportunities of growth for small entrepreneurs and workers,” Cayetano said.

He noted that “access to financing and technical support” shall be the core policy of the proposed measure. The bill seeks to make the process of obtaining loans and grants simpler and more practical. It also aims to make interest rates not higher than prevailing bank rates. To ensure maximum use of loan proceeds, the bill also requires that it shall be exclusively used for capital.

By Dexter A. See