Small Business Corporation, an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry and  program implementor of the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) Program held a ceremonial signing for the first nine beneficiaries of the Equity/Investment Program for Microenterprises for the families of  wounded in action (WIA) or  killed in action (KIA) in Marawi on February 13, 2018 at the AFP Medical Center Auditorium.

SB Corp has allotted P50 million  from P3 funds to provide microenterprise investments for families of KIA/WIAs from P50,000 to P100,000. The investment is interest free if paid within two years. If not, amortization will start on the third year with an interest of 2% per annum.

As of 9 February,  SB Corp  has released Php 902,000 in investments to 13 WIA/ KIA family beneficiaries.

One of the first batch of beneficiaries is Corporal Jayson Mante, 31,  who used the money in a school supplies store his family owns.

“ Malaking tulong po talaga itong tulong na dagdag puhunan sa negosyo namin. Dati po maliit lang yung tindahan namin. Di gaano napapansin. Ngayon marami na pong laman at meron na rin po kaming photocopying machine kaya  lumakas din po ang kita ng tindahan.” Corporal Mante said.

The others who also signed their investment agreements are Technical Sergeant Erlindo Agraviador, Staff Sergeant  Gilberto Oriel, Private First Class Arhenzen Waguiyon, Corporal Jhandy Arancillo, Staff Sergeant Peter Barros, S1UO Herbert Ryan Briz, Private First Class Joey Casto and Corporal Cris Jonathan Biznar.  They plan to use the money to supplement their existing businesses varying from  hog-raising, rice trading, food stalls and animal feeds retailing stores .

"We want to contribute in healing the wounds brought about by war. We hope the families of our wounded and fallen heroes of Marawi can start healing and rebuilding their lives with dignity. This is our way of showing that we are grateful for their service and their  families' noble sacrifices," SB Corp President and CEO Ma. Luna M. Cacanando explained.

To date, SB Corp has approved a total of 43  applications with a total amount of Php 2.59 million. More than a hundred are in process and are expected to be released by end of February. Interviews and processing of applicants are still ongoing at V. Luna Medical Center.  SB Corp is hoping to release the full P50 million fund to deserving beneficiaries by the second quarter of 2018.

In the photo (seated left-right) are:  DTI Secretary Ramon L. Lopez; program beneficiaries TSG Erlindo  Agraviador and CPL Jayson Mante, SB Corp President and CEO Ma. Luna Cacanando. Witnessing the signing (from left to right) are: DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya, AFP Medical Center Chief Brig. Gen. Leo Torrelavega. DILG KIA-WIA Program Manager Jocelyn Cabana, DTI Assistant Secretary Ameenah Fajardo, DND Assistant Secretary Antonio Bautista and Ms. Corabeth Magkalas of DTI-BMSMED.