Alternative to 5-6: Pia backs microlending program for informal sector

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.#

Senatoriable Pia S. Cayetano visits market vendors and beneficiaries of the Presyo, Trabaho, Kita (PTK) program at the Legazpi City Public Market in the province of Albay on Monday (May 6).PTK

Modern tech, livelihood assistance to protect farmers amid El Niño

Senatorial candidate Pia S. Cayetano on Tuesday (April 23) expressed support for initiatives that would provide Filipino farmers with better access to modern technology and livelihood assistance.

The congresswoman said this amid the early onset of El Niño, which has negatively affected the livelihood of farmers and agri-workers throughout the county.

“We really need to spend more to improve the technology that is made available to our farmers, especially if we want to spare them from the ill effects of the drought,” Cayetano said in an interview with reporters in Pangasinan.

A total of 487 hectares of farmlands in the province have been affected by the dry spell as of March 29, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 1.

Cayetano, for her part, said modern technology can do so much in protecting the farmers’ primary source of income in times of natural calamities such as this one.

“We cannot control the weather, but we can improve how our farmers could respond to climate change by way of technological advancement,” she stressed.

In Taguig City, for instance, the congresswoman noted that the local government has invested greatly in hydroponics farming system. The process involves growing plants without soil, which makes it ideal for urban agriculture.

Furthermore, the senatorial aspirant has been advocating initiatives that provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for Filipino farmers and those in the informal sector. 

Together with her brother, former Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano, they launched the Presyo, Trabaho, Kita (PTK) program in 2013, granting the poor better access to capital to start or sustain their own livelihood. 

It has so far granted low-interest loans to 218 organizations of farmers, fishermen, market vendors, PUV drivers, and small-scale workers nationwide, including 14 organizations in Pangasinan.

PTK is also in line with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s policy to eradicate the practice of the usurious ‘5-6′ money lending scheme. #

Senatoriable Pia S. Cayetano talks at the Urdaneta Bagsakan Public Market in Pangasinan.