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Location of gov’t lending agencies in Philippines now just a text away

9 July 2007 No Comment

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pushed the green button this morning on the latest government project that now makes the location and contact numbers of government financing agencies just a text away.

Launched by the President at the Renaissance Hotel in Makati City was the “Micro Asenso!” Text Facility that shall henceforth make it easy for small and medium-sized businessmen to locate micro-financing centers right in their areas.

The message that was sent by the green-clad President with the push of the green button was the template message that the country’s more than 60,000 small entrepreneurs could text to Globe’s 2973 to get information on the P180-billion credit market available via the more than 3,000 micro-financing institutions (MFI) across the country.

To find an MFI in Metro Manila, the borrower types the following message: “MICRO [space] FIND [space] NAME OF CITY” and send to 2973.

To find an MFI in the provinces, micro entrepreneurs could text the following message, thus: “MICRO [space] FIND [space] NAME OF PROVINCE [comma] NAME OF TOWN” and send to 2973. Each text costs P2.50.

The President’s texted message located the MFI in Lubao, Pampanga – CB Pampanga in Barangay Sta. Cruz with telephone number (045) 971-7624.

Aside from CB Pampanga, the reply from Globe also pointed to PRBC along MacArthur Highway, San Fernando, Pampanga with telephone numbers (045) 860-1660 and (045) 963-0709.

Launching the administration project with the President – who was in a light green dress coat and open-toed green heels – were People’s Credit and Finance Corp. (PCFC) president Edgar Generoso and Globe Telecom president Gerardo Ablaza.

The PCFC is the government’s lead agency for micro finance services delivery, with the PCFC president also acting as the chair of the Micro Finance Program Committee (MFPC).

Also on hand to give an overview of the government lending project was Presidential Management Staff (PMS) Director General Cerge Remonde, the oversight officer for Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurship (MSME).

Ablaza said the “simple tool” should point micro entrepreneurs to the nearest micro-finance institution, adding that the Filipino entrepreneur “deserves all the help he could get.”

He said the short-messaging system (SMS) facility and Globe’s alliance with project initiator MFPC – the aggrupation of government financing institutions (GFIs) – is “in line with the company’s thrust to support the growth of Filipino micro businesses and small and medium enterprises (SME) from all over the country.”

The “Micro Asenso!” Text Facility is envisioned by the government to enhance and sustain public awareness on micro finance. It is an offshoot of the government’s earlier launching at mid-year last year of the “Go Negosyo” entrepreneurship program.

It also spinned off from the Oct. 6, 2006 National Competitiveness Summit in Malaca?ang that hoped to provide effective financing access by developing a financial system that is “accessible, facilitative, and cost-effective for MSMEs… through active partnership and continuous commitment between government and the private sector.”

The PCFC, meanwhile, said the eligible borrowers are non-government organizations, cooperatives and financial institutions “duly organized, with either a track record of lending operations or with proven capabilities in implementing micro-finance programs for the poor.”

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