DTI: Social preparation needed for P1-B government lending project

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has recognized the need to have a good social preparation for the implementation of its P1-billion lending program positioned to discourage borrowers in the country from turning to exorbitant “5-6” lenders.

The agency is setting aside the fund starting next year to implement an alternative lending scheme with an estimated two percent interest rate for micro and small enterprises.

DTI-Negros Island Region (NIR) Director Asteria Caberte, who concurrently heads DTI-Central Visayas, said there is a need to change the people’s mindset before they start availing the program.

For them, whatever assistance coming from the government is for free, Caberte pointed out, adding that it also a challenge for the agency to identify and screen potential beneficiaries.

“When they are given the capital they have to really utilize it to improve their business and living,” she said, adding that “this is a very rare chance thus, it has to be sustained.”

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, in a report, had earlier said that the agency is looking at minimum loan of P2,000 for small business.

After the initial year of implementation, Lopez said DTI will test the market demand and check if there is a need to eventually increase the budget to P1 billion per region.

Caberte said the program could surely benefit entrepreneurs and other small business in NIR as capitalization is still one of their major needs.

She added that the new lending scheme will positively impact Negrense enterprises mainly through lower interest rates and operational costs.

“Once implemented, we have to make sure that loans should be paid accordingly so that it can be sustained to benefit more recipients,” she added.
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