President Noynoy Aquino has recently signed into law a bill that aims to strengthen non-government organizations engaged in microfinance operations for the poor or less privilege sector of society.
Republic Act 10693, also known as “Microfinance NGOs Act” recognizes the important role of microfinance NGOs in alleviating poverty and its implications in economic growth, a Philippine Star article written by Vberni Regalado and published on November 7 stated.
In an earlier statement, neophyte Sen. Bam Aquino, who filed the bill, said “The passage of this measure is a recognition of their (NGOs) crucial role in lifting Filipinos from poverty and enabling the poor to build their businesses and create their own sustainable livelihood.”
The senator also stressed that the government has continuously emphasized the important role of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the country’s endeavor to foster inclusive growth.
“It is very important that we support our businessmen, most especially in capital for them to boost their business and the status of their lives,” he disclosed.
Based on data MSMEs compose 99.6 percent of the country and contribute 61.2 percent of the country’s employment.
Of the figure, 91.6 percent are micro enterprises composed of sari-sari stores, handicraft markers, service shops and other modest businesses.
Sen. Aquino stressed the microfinance NGOs sector can fill in the gap and address the need of small businesses, specifically the micro-entrepreneurs.
However, he clarified that the bill will only cover microfinance organizations and will not cover for profit organizations.
In 2013, the 23 microfinance NGO members of the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) alone had a gross loan portfolio of over P15.26 billion catering to more than 2.7 million micro-entrepreneurs.