FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte at a press briefing in Cebu after his arrival from his official visit to Korea.
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte ordered an increase in the loan budget for vendors and small businessmen, according to Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.
Piñol said the President made the directive on Monday, June 11, during their regular Cabinet meeting.
Secretary Piñol cited Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez as saying that vendors and retailers resorting to “5-6” lending scheme are forced to increase the prices of their products. Such lending scheme collects up to 20% interest.
“So the tindera will have to come up with a margin of profit that will cover the 20% interest that she has to pay to the usurer on a daily basis and the mark up for her profit,” Piñol explained.
Based on DTI’s study, “5-6” lenders already have more than P30 billion collectible amount scattered across the country.
“So iyon ang kailangang tapatan ng gobyerno because unless we do that, it will be the consumers who will be at a great loss. Because they are actually the ones paying the interest of the 5-6 utang of the tinderas,” explained Secretary Piñol.
DTI’s budget for the loan program is currently P1 billion. It will be raised to P5 billion as ordered by the President.
Piñol added that at present, the government has existing loan programs for food producers such as farmers and fishermen to aid in their expenses. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo
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