Lopez to sari-sari
store owners: gov’t is your expansion partner
June 15, 2017
MANILA – Filipino
sari-sari store owners can count on the government to finance their
dream expansion through the Pondo para sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso
(P3), the country’s trade chief said.
Department of Trade and
Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez encouraged sari-sari store
owners, who belong to the sector of micro, small and medium
enterprises (MSMEs), to consider expansion plans through the P3
program, a direct alternative to the “5-6” lending scheme.
“Sari-sari stores form part
the economic backbone of the country. Providing them more
opportunities can only mean greater economic development,” said Sec.
Lopez during the appreciation and awarding ceremonies of supermarket
chain Puregold on 14 June.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s
P1 billion financing program offers an affordable, MSME-friendly
micro-financing system, whose priority beneficiaries include
microenterprises and entrepreneurs that do not have easy access to
credit, or are accessing credit at very high cost, such as,
micro-entrepreneurs, market vendors, agri-businessmen and members of
cooperatives, industry associations and co-operators.
“Loanable amount has
interest rate ranging from 20 to 25% per annum with no collateral
requirement. This rate is substantially lower than what is being
charged by 5-6 loan sharks,” he said, adding that the government hopes
that through the P3 Program, it will be able to reach and help even
the smallest of entrepreneurs in the countryside.
The trade chief expressed
hoped that Puregold continue its advocacy of assisting sari-sari store
owners increase their potential earnings through the Tindahan ni Aling
Puring program, as it complements DTI’s grand objective of helping
MSMEs level-up and contribute to national development.
Meanwhile, reading Pres.
Duterte’s message for the event, Philippine National Police Chief Gen.
Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa urged stakeholders to make MSMEs “globally
competitive through sustainable and innovative business practices.”
Puregold’s Lucio Co
highlighted the significance of sari-sari stores as the immediate
go-to pantry of the common Filipino household, adding that
establishing one has likewise become “the business of choice” of
returning overseas Filipino workers.
“The shared vision to
address inequality and reduce income gaps is the thrust of the
Durtertenomics. The current growth story of the Philippines can only
matter more to our countrymen if it reaches the bottom of the
pyramid,” said Sec. Lopez.
“As we strengthen the
industries to create more jobs, DTI’s programs are available to
encourage and to inspire Filipinos to give entrepreneurship a good
try,” he added.
Puregold, which currently
caters to about 10 million Filipino households and employs 52,000 and
growing, recognized its top 20 gold members, as well as those with
highest sales, highest growth and best merchandise.