The Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.), the financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry, has started releasing loans under the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program to micro enterprises in Boracay Island.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the first batch of loans through the P3 program is intended to support micro entrepreneurs during the island’s six-month closure since April 26, 2018.

"Helping the people of Boracay Island and local tourism during this period means ensuring their micro entrepreneurs have access to available funds to support their businesses," Lopez said.

The first batch of seven micro entrepreneurs from Boracay were granted Php30,000 loans each through P3. Payment varies from monthly or semi-monthly for six months to one year, depending on the borrower's ability to pay, Lopez explained.

The P3 Program is the national government's initiative which provides affordable, low cost, and easy-to-pay loans to micro enterprises to help them expand their businesses and provide an alternative to 5-6 lending.

DTI is a member of the Working Group on employment and livelihood and the lead agency in the establishment of the Operations Center/ One-Stop Shop in Boracay Island.

SB Corp. President and CEO Ma. Luna Cacanando said that micro entrepreneurs can use the loan for their businesses' expansion while residents await the reopening of the island to tourists on October 26, 2018.

“We will assist more micro entrepreneurs in the island through the P3 program to ensure that their businesses will be quick to recover and ready once the island reopens to tourists,” Cacanando stressed.

While the island has yet to reopen, micro entrepreneurs selling in Boracay will be given the opportunity to continue their businesses through alternative market outlets in nearby resorts and pasalubong centers.

The loan program is in line with President Duterte's directive to provide intervention to displaced workers and entrepreneurs who will be affected by the island's six-month closure. END