By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
At least 24 Maranao entrepreneurs received assistance from the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) in form of the Pondo sa Pagbabagao at Pag-asenso (P3) loans to help bring back the business environment in the war-torn city.
SB Corp., the micro-financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) released a total of P245,000 to 24 borrowers who were also recipient of DTI’s business starter kits. Another P10,000 P3 loan package was also released to 13 micro enterprises last week.
“DTI is bringing the government’s P3 microfinancing program closer to the entrepreneurs of Marawi by helping them start and rebuild their businesses. We are committed in reviving the vibrant business environment in the city, especially for the Maranaos who are well-known as traders,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.
As part of Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), DTI, together with other government agencies comprising the subcommittee on business and livelihood (SC-BL), has assisted affected Marawi residents to bring back the illustrious business city.
DTI Undersecretary for Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya assured that the agency has been on the ground to provide assistance to affected Marawi internally displaced persons (IDPs) to hasten the recovery and rehabilitation of the city.
“Together with member agencies of the Task Force Bangon Marawi Subcommittee on Business and Livelihood, we would make sure that Marawi City will quickly return to normalcy upon the orders of the President. We’re bringing back business for our brothers and sisters who were greatly affected by the war,” Maglaya said.
SB Corp. has earmarked at least 1,000 Marawi entrepreneur beneficiaries that will receive loan packages in the first quarter of 2018.
Maglaya added that more entrepreneurs will be assisted by the agency through loan packages without interest.
The initial 37 borrowers were recipient of the DTI business starter kit from DTI Lanao del Norte and DTI Iligan City provincial offices. Succeeding loans will be done in cooperation with the local government and the administrator of the Marawi public market who shall identify qualified market stall owners as perspective borrowers.
Other micro enterprises who are neither DTI starter kit recipients or Marawi public market stall owners, may apply for R3 loans from SB Corp. accredited conduits such as Radiowealth Finance Company, Inc. (RFC) and CARD, Inc. who are presently operating in the area.
The provision of starter kits is in line with the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to provide livelihood to IDPs from Marawi City and other affected localities. This also follows the Administrative Order No. 03 of the President, mandating the creation of an inter-agency task force that would implement the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of Marawi City and other affected localities of which providing business and livelihood is crucial.
Member agencies of the Subcommittee on Business and Livelihood are Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).