A TOTAL of P332.5 million credit lines were approved for eight microfinance institutions (MFI) in Mindanao during the initial launching of Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program, the microfinance initiative of the government, here in Mindanao.

The P3 program was established with the objective of assisting small businesses with their loans, to not anymore rely solely on the 5-6 loan scheme which has a bigger interest rate. As it was first established at key areas in the Philippines, it was initially launched at Sarangani Province for Mindanao.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Small Business Corp (SBCor) Dida Delute said of the P332.5 million credit line had been approved for eight MFIs in Mindanao only P5 million of this was released since most of the applying MFIs still have a number of requirements to submit.

Mediatrix Multi-purpose cooperative of Kidapawan, North Cotabato has an approved credit line of P10 million with half of it already released by SBCor.

Malapatan Multi-purpose cooperative (MPC) of Malapatan, Sarangani Province and Kiamba Micro Entrepreneurs MPC of Kiamba, Sarangani Province each has an approved credit line of P6 million.

Approved credit line for Sta. Cruz MPC, Maasim Sarangani Province is at P5 million, Alabel Government Employees and People’s MPC, Alabel Sarangani Province at P2.5 million.

A P2-million credit line was each approved for Glansar Credit Cooperative, Glan Sarangani and Glan Local Officials/Employees MPC, Glan Sarangani Province.

The Mindanao Alliance of Self-Help Societies Southern Philippines Educational Cooperative Center (Mass-Spec), the largest cooperative federation in the country with more than 300 cooperative affiliates in Mindanao, has an approved credit line of P300 million which they are allowed to loan to their coop affiliates.

Last Wednesday, May 31, the P3 program was officially launched in Davao region at the DTI Davao Regional Office. During the launching, around 40 representatives of MFIs and cooperatives and associations with lending facilities in Davao Region gathered together as they were being briefed of the guidelines and requirements to avail of the P3 fund.

“We want simple documentation that you would require to your borrowers, standardized and most reduced to minimum because we want the process to be as fast compared to the informal lenders. Fast release to borrowers. It should be released within 24 hours from completion of documents. Conduits should also be committed of low pass-on interest rate capped at 2.5 percent per month or around 30 percent per annum. It should also have efficient collection and repayment whether daily or weekly and 100 repayment to SBCor,” Delute told the MFI representatives.