By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has renewed its partnership with micro finance firm Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD), Inc., which committed an additional ₱100 million of its fund for Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program.
The additional ₱100-million fund, which was sealed in a Memorandum of Understanding signed recently, has CARD’s total revolving fund for the P3 program since the partnership began in 2017 to ₱300 million.
CARD will lend out to other beneficiaries to widen the reach of the P3 program to more micro borrowers. P3 is DTI’s program that provides low-interest, no collateral loans for existing micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The program, managed by Small Business Corporation (SB Corp), is a response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to combat 5-6 loans.
Through P3, entrepreneurs can borrow amounts from ₱5,000 to ₱200,000 from CARD and other accredited credit delivery partners.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said that DTI benefits from the partnership since CARD supplements the ₱3.5 billion P3 allocation from the government with their own funds.
CARD is also one of the biggest microfinance institutions in the Philippines, with 7 million borrowers nationwide.
Founder and Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip reported that CARD disbursed ₱600 million in P3 loans to around 56,000 borrowers since 2017.
He also said that CARD targets to increase its P3 allocation to ₱100 million every year to reach 100,000 entrepreneurs.