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National Census and Statistics Office (NSO)
« on: November 21, 2017, 04:18:33 PM »
More Filipinos into micro-enterprises to alleviate poverty - survey
Iloilo City (30 August 2005) -- The National Census and Statistics Office (NSO) 2002 survey showed that 91% of total establishments in the country are considered micro-enterprises.

Micro-enterprises are the smallest businesses set up by people with the smallest capital, and those with very limited or no access to credit.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) estimates that over four million families belonging to the lowest income strata have micro-enterprises. These include small vendors who sell fruits, snacks, cigarettes, candies, school supplies, clothes and practically any bargain item.

The BSP data showed that of the four million families that own micro-enterprises, only 1.2 million have access to micro-finance, leaving the face of the remaining more that 2.8 million in the hands of loan sharks.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo looks to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to provide the bulk of the 10 million jobs she hopes to create from 2004 to 2010.

There are studies, however, that showed that developing SMEs require expanding their access to credit. Monetary Board Member Antonino Alindogan, Jr. noted that for every peso lent to small borrowers, P2 is required for the government to monitor micro-financing.

He said that SME clienteles are perceived to be a very expensive market to serve because of the high costs of transactions, which could have been the cause of failure of microfinance in the past.

But the BSP has issued about nine circulars aimed at setting in place a regulatory environment that is essential in the development of sustainable microfinance institutions and provide incentives for banks to engage in microfinance operations.

Among these incentives are the exemption to the moratorium imposed by BSP on the establishment of new banks and branches.

BSP has also set some measures to protect the financial system from unsound practices and ensure that borrowers will not be charged exorbitant fees.

This is, likewise true, with multilateral agencies, like the Asian development bank, the World Bank’s International Finance Corp., which have also put in resources to help expand access to microfinance. (PIA-6)

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