Nacionalista Party Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano is proposing to institutionalize a nationwide microlending program that would give poor Filipinos better access to capital to start or sustain their own livelihood.
Cayetano was in the province of Albay on Monday (May 6), where she attended the Bicol Agri Fiesta 2019 in Camalig, Albay.
In an interview with reporters there, the congresswoman said she wants to promote the country’s agriculture sector by providing agri-workers with better assistance and more economic opportunities.
Together with her brother, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia launched the Presyo, Trabaho, Kita (PTK) program in 2013, which provides seed capital for micro businesses and members of the informal sector.
The microlending project has so far granted low-interest loans to 218 organizations of farmers, fishermen, market vendors, PUV drivers, and small-scale workers, including three organizations in Albay.
Citing the success of PTK, Cayetano said she wants to institutionalize a similar microfinance program nationwide, which will assist various cooperatives and provide low-interest loans to their members.
“The PTK program is our way of helping more and more Filipinos become self-sufficient,” she stressed.
“Nakita namin ang tagumpay ng mga beneficiaries namin sa PTK kaya balak pa namin silang dagdagan, at nag-iisip din kami ng paraan para ma-institutionalize ito,” she added.
The senatorial candidate further noted that the program could be one way to fulfill the administration’s goal of eradicating usurious loan systems rampant in the informal sector, such as the ‘5-6’ money lending scheme.
“Sa totoo lang, napakahirap para sa ordinaryong Pilipino na umutang sa bangko. Ang oras na para sana sa kabuhayan nila ay nabubuhos pa sa pagpunta sa bangko at pag-ayos ng requirements. Sa PTK, maaari na silang dumeretso sa kanilang kooperatiba upang makakuha ng pondo at di kumapit sa sistemang 5-6,” Cayetano concluded.#