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10 million poor secured P168 billion microfinance loans since 2001

March 22, 2010


March 21, 2010, 5:53pm

Nearly 10 million poor Filipino sellers secured P168 billions in microfinance loans and other forms of assistance since 2001, Secretary Domingo F. Panganiban of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) says.

Panganiban said 7.1 million micro-entrepreneurs got loans amounting to P168.6 billion from 2001 to 2009 and generated jobs for more than 2.8 million unemployed or underemployed citizens.

The NAPC chief revealed that from July 2001 to June 2004, government and its partner financial institutions lent out P8.1 billion to 1.4 million micro-entrepreneurs.

“The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the People’s Credit and Finance Corp. (PCFC) reported that our partner microfinance institutions had issued more than R160 billion in microfinance loans to some 5.7 million underprivileged business owners from July 2004 to December 2009,” he said.

NAPC Assistant Secretary Dolores de Quiros-Castillo said enterprise development is a key component of the Arroyo administration’s poverty reduction program.

“Filipino micro-enterprises are not only among the most dependable pillars of the national economy, they also create a vast number of jobs for the poor each year,” Castillo added.

“For instance, our partner microfinance institutions no longer require collateral for loans to targeted entrepreneurs. This makes their services more accessible to poor folk,” she noted.

Panganiban also clarified that the operations of the government’s partners in the microfinance sector are not state-subsidized.

“Government-subsidized loans to the poor proved to be a drawback to our rural development efforts back in the ’70s. Having learned from that experience, we no longer subsidize the operations of our partners in the microfinance sector today,” the NAPC chief said.

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