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PIA Press Release
2009/02/19

Bohol exec urges SMEs to tap coop credit funds

by Rey Anthony Chiu

Tagbilaran City (19 February) -- Cooperatives should take this once-in-a-lifetime lifeline, says Vice Governor Julius Caesar Herrera a day after the Bohol launch of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Credit Surety Fund (CSF) program.

First Consolidated Bank (FCB) of Bohol, one of the major driving forces pulling the BSP facility here also shares the Herrera call.

Through FCB President Argeo Melissimo, the FCB stresses that the facility, which is local sees the real need of the small business and makes available for smaller entrepreneurs the chance to access capitalization funds sans the high-risk collaterals.

The BSP launched in Bohol the Bohol Coopreneurs' (BCCSF) Sunday. Such is to help boost capital to propel expansion and development of micro, small and medium enterprises amid a tightening global economic choke.

The launching opens up for Boholanos at least P150M total credit portfolio, a sum much bigger than the usual bank offer of the usual 10% of their loan portfolio to micro, small and medium enterprises development.

For Bohol, Capitol through Governor Erico Aumentado has put up P5M to add to the funds pooled by Investment Guarantee and Loan Fund, another P5M by the cooperatives and private sector including the First Consolidate Bank of Bohol, the Development Bank of the Philippines and still the upcoming pool from Land Bank of the Philippines, according to FCB's Melissimo.

The fund acts as surety for loans availed by coop members and handled by an oversight committee

Readily, this makes available some P150 to P200M capitalization available to Boholano entrepreneurs, both Herrera and Melissimo pointed out as both calculated the loan guarantee of P15-20M multiplied by 10.

For Boholanos, this should be a credit portfolio of at least P100T to registered member entrepreneurs in a cooperative, Herrera said.

"This should be a more logical government and private-sector help compared to the lifeline cast by loan-sharks and lending firms," Herrera explained.

Bohol's top legislator emphasized that entrepreneurs who are coop members can now avail of loans without putting up hard collaterals as the CSF guarantees for him.

The real problem is that micro-entrepreneurs availing of loans from banks find themselves in a hard situation. They need to put up collaterals and the business risks they have to face, Herrera said. (PIA) [top]

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