Kidapawan extends loans to market vendors to drive away ‘loan sharks’

On Wednesday the local government did just that when it released the second round of loans since last year to 65 women market vendors.

Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco said the release of P450-T loan to the Mega Market of Kidapawan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MMK-MPC) will save the market vendors from usurers to whom they usually run whenever they run out of capital.

“We know their miseries.   And as a response, we decided to release the fund,” said Gantuangco.  

The mayor released the check to the officials of MMK-MPC in simple rites at the Mega Market attended by officials from the Department of Internal and Local Government (DILG) and staff of the Notre Dame Foundation for Charitable Activities, Inc., Women in Enterprise Development (NDFCAI-WED).

NDFCAI-WED, a non-government organization, is implementing the Japan-funded Social Protection for the Poor Women Market Vendors Project.

Presentacion Cognito, a dressmaker and member of the MMK-MPC, said they usually turned to individuals and lending institutions that loan money at high interest rates, usually 20 percent per month.

“We have no other means.  We can not avail of loans from the banks since we have no collateral.  We’re not also members of Pag-ibig and other government lending institutions,” she said.

This is the second round of financial assistance the city government has released to the market vendors since last year.   

In June 2005, it handed out P300,000 as loan without any interest to the MMK-MPC.   After six months, the group was able to pay the amount.

The second round of loan would be paid in a year with an interest of one percent per month.

Cognito said the interest “is way, way below the interests that are being charged against us when we resort to 5-6,” she said.

Five-six means paying six pesos for every five pesos borrowed, or an interest rate of 20 percent per month. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)