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PIA Press Release

Gov't microfinance lending to help poor communities

by PS Mabaquiao

San Jose, Antique (12 October) -- The government's proposed microfinance program will help poverty stricken communities identify entrepreneurial potentials and start small scale income generating activity, said Lazaro Petinglay, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer.

This is in relation to the recommendations of the Department of Finance (DOF) to fine tune Executive Order No. 558 which allows government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development to venture into microfinance lending operations to help poor communities.

PSWDO Petinglay expressed its optimism that government's microfinance program will succeed in Antique as evidenced by success stories of different small scale lending institutions and cooperatives that had helped association of farmers, fisherfolks, women and other sectors.

Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said earlier that the DSWD is the only agency that has the capability to reach out to the unserved clients of government financial institutions - - mainly those from the poorest communities and municipalities.

"Another key recommendations of the DoF is for the DSWD to lead the selection of 47 municipalities nationwide where residents have limited or no access to microfinance lending", added Teves.

By identifying the marginal municipalities in urgent need of good financing terms, Teves expects to ease the concern of rural banks and private microfinance lenders that they stand to loose once the EO No. 558 goes into full swing.

Petinglay said that he is more than willing to sit down with concerned agencies and identify poverty stricken areas especially those recently hit by typhoons in coastal communities, remote and upland barangays vulnerable to landslides where their means of livelihood were affected by previous calamities.

On the other hand, the DOF has also proposed that an initial amount of P100-million fund be raised to jumpstart the program. He also cited the need for the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines to be involved in the government microfinance-lending program. Teves said that the institutions would prove invaluable in monitoring the conduct of the program, particularly the collection system to be put in place. (PIA) [top]

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