P12.5M credit facility opens in South Cotabato

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/31 May) – A P12.5-million credit window opened Tuesday for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in South Cotabato, the 15th province in the country chosen for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas initiated Credit Surety Fund (CSF).

Juanita D. Amatong, BSP monetary board member, said the opening of the CSF would boost entrepreneurship in the province that would in turn enhance economic activities and generate job opportunities.

Amatong noted that MSMEs, which comprise at least 99 percent of the total businesses in the country, are economically significant in jobs generation, and that they needed help to flourish.

“The long-term growth of MSMEs is constrained by loan access to banks. The CSF helps levels the playing field by allowing them obtain loans without collaterals from the banks,” she said at the launching here.

She said that the CSF facility has so far released P94 million to some 204 members of various cooperatives operating in the different parts of the country.

Ten cooperatives embraced the CSF program in South Cotabato, with Amatong expressing hopes that more will take part.

They pooled to contribute P3.5 million to the fund, which was also enhanced by the P1-million contributions each from the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines.

The provincial government of South Cotabato and the Industrial Guarantee and Loan Fund both committed P3.5 million.

South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy Jr. said the establishment of the CSF in the province would help existing and potential businessmen seek money for expansion or start-up capital, respectively.

“With this facility, accessing loans for our micro, small and medium enterprises would be easier. There’s no need for collateral to get loans from participating banks,” he said.

He added that the CSF aims to strengthen the MSMEs and provide them “a lasting solution” to capital and access to credit to allow their businesses to grow.

The CSF program, which commenced about three years ago, involves the creation of a trust fund from contributions of participating cooperatives and a counterpart from the provincial government intended primarily to make MSMEs bankable by giving them access to formal
sources of financing by means of a surety cover, a project brief said.

Basically, MSMEs who cannot get financing due to the absence of collaterals and lack of credit track records can do so now using the surety cover issued by the CSF as substitute.

The BSP has committed to accept for rediscounting the loans granted under the CSF, it added. (Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)

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