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Pia Cayetano pushes micro-lending as alternative to ‘5-6’

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Senatorial aspirant and House Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano is proposing to institutionalize a nationwide micro-lending program that can serve as a better alternative to disadvantageous “5-6” loans for poor Filipinos.

In an interview with reporters in Legazpi City, the Taguig congresswoman said she wants to promote the country’s agriculture sector by providing agri workers with better assistance and more economic opportunities.

Together with her brother, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia launched the Presyo, Trabaho, Kita (PTK) program in 2013, which provides seed capital for micro businesses and members of the informal sector.

The micro-lending project has so far granted low-interest loans to 218 organizations of farmers, fishermen, market vendors, PUV drivers, and small-scale workers, including three organizations in Albay.

Citing the success of PTK, Cayetano said she wants to institutionalize a similar microfinance program nationwide, which will assist various cooperatives and provide low-interest loans to their members.

“The PTK program is our way of helping more and more Filipinos become self-sufficient,” she stressed.

“Nakita namin ang tagumpay ng mga beneficiaries namin sa PTK kaya balak pa namin silang dagdagan, at nag-iisip din kami ng paraan para ma-institutionalize ito,” she added.