MANILA — The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading House Bill No. 9533 or the proposed "Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-Asenso (P3)" Act, pegged as an alternative to the traditional "5-6" lending scheme popular among small businesses.
The bill was approved in an ayes and nayes vote and will be voted on third and final reading in 3 days.
According to its fact sheet, the bill will provide an "affordable, accessible, and simple" microfinancing program for the country's micro-enterprises, especially those in the poorest populations.
It will also provide a "better alternative" to informal lenders engaged in the so-called "5-6" practice typically availed of by micro-enterprises, where the interest is a crippling 20 percent.
Under the bill, a P3 Fund will be created. The fund will be lent out to qualified micro-enterprises through accredited partner financial institutions.
The Department of Trade and Industry will be the lead implementing agency for the P3 Fund.
In 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte said it might be better to just kill "5-6" lenders in order to end the "perpetual bondage" of poor Filipinos.
Duterte has on several occasions raised concerns about the high-interest loan system.
— Reports from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News