House panel approves Barangay Microfinance Cooperative bill

Published October 25, 2021, 7:41 PM

by Manila Bulletin

The House of Representatives Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development under its chairperson Rep. Virgilio Lacson of Manila Teachers Partylist has approved the bill that establishes the Barangay Microfinance Cooperative during its hearing on Monday, Oct. 25.

Majority of the committee gave its unanimous approval to the substitute to House Bill 7968 or the Barangay Microfinance Act filed by Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman after an initial deliberation.

Roman’s bill seeks to establish a barangay microfinance system which will also have appropriating funds.

“The main objective of this bill is to establish a system that would reach the grassroots level namely the barangays,” Roman said.

Roman added that the bill also seeks to educate the people on responsible borrowing.

With its approval, the said bill will now be subject to the recommendations of the Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on Appropriations.

One of its policies declare that the government must pursue a program of poverty eradication where marginalized Filipinos and members of the informal economy are encouraged to undertake and scale up their entrepreneurial activities to meet their basic needs including income security.

It also calls on the government to recognize the importance of facilitating easy and efficient access to necessary funds and credits for entrepreneurial activities.

As a special kind of cooperative and duly registered with the Cooperative Development Authority, the Barangay Microfinance Cooperative shall abide by and operate within the core principles of cooperativism.

It also mandates the establishment of BMCs in each barangay which will be managed and owned by residents. (Melvin Sarangay)