Following the official launching of the microfinancing program Pondo para saPagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) last week convened an inter-agency meeting to work on the transition to allow illegal foreign money lenders to legalize their resident status and register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) their lending business.
Ramon Lopez, DTI secretary, said this period would also prevent undue harassment in the field.
Lopez said after the prescribed transition period, the illegal “5-6 scheme” must stop and micro business must shift to P3 and other legal microfinancing facilities.
With an initial fund of P1 billion, the P3 program provides micro, small and medium enterprises easy access to finance with no collateral and minimal interest, through microfinance institutions and cooperatives accredited by DTI and the Small Business Corp. (SB Corp).
Lopez led the meeting together with TeresitaHerbosa, SEC chair, and representatives from the Department of Justice, Department of Foreign Affairs, Immigration Bureau, NICA, BangkoSentral ng Pilipinas, Philippine National Police, SB Corp. and the Indian Chamber of Commerce.
The Technical Working Group that was formed will come up in two weeks with specific guidelines for the compliance and registration of the lenders.
The P3 program was recently launched in Tacloban, Occidental Mindoro and Sarangani, where Lopez was joined by DTI undersecretaries Rowel Barba and Zenaida Maglaya as well as the Indian Chamber of Commerce (Philippines) led by its president Rex Daryanani.
Lopez said some informal lenders have begun slashing their rates in areas where the P3 has been rolled out, from 20 percent to five percent per month. (Malaya)