Gov't takes on '5-6' loan sharks in wet markets


Posted at Oct 22 2016 05:06 PM | Updated as of Oct 22 2016 08:20 PM

Gov't takes on '5-6' loan sharks in wet markets 1
A vendor sorts her fish for sale at a fish market located in Paranaque CityDarren Whiteside, Reuters/File Photo

MANILA - The trade department said Saturday it would tour wet markets offering loans with zero to little interest, to help the poor start businesses and wean them off loan sharks.

President Rodrigo Duterte blasted "5-6" lending in a speech in Beijing this week, saying exorbitant interest rates are "killing" the Filipino entrepreneur's spirit.

The loan tour is part of a pilot-test of "Pondo Para sa Pagbabago at Pagasenso [Change and Progress Fund]," the government's plan to spur small and medium enterprises, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told DZMM.

"Mapapautang sila ng mababa o halos wala ng interes. Mawawala na 'yang '5-6' na napakalaki ng interes [They will be given loans with very low or almost no interest. It will be the end for 5-6 and it's high interest rates]," Lopez said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this week asked the police and the National Bureau of Investigation to help in its crackdown on informal lending.

Lopez said the government would also push for signature products that a city or province is known for, like shoes in Marikina City.