Bam’s Loan Guarantee for Small Biz Program Now a Law

Small and medium enterprises will now have additional access to credit with the approval of the Credit Surety Fund (CSF) Cooperative Act into law, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.

Aquino, author and sponsor of the Senate version of the measure, said that Republic Act 10744 would institutionalize the CSF program of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which targets the missing middle or loan requirements ranging from P200,000 to P5 million.

“When it comes to micro, we have the cooperatives and the microfinance institutions. When it comes to the medium and large, our banks are actually quite willing to provide loans,” said Aquino, chairman of the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

“This small enterprise space that we perceive to still be a missing middle will, hopefully, be catered to through the Credit Surety Fund Cooperative Act,” he added.

According to Aquino, the smaller enterprise’s loan needs that range from 500 thousand pesos to 5 million pesos are too large for microfinance institutions but still perceived to be too risky for banks, which, most of the time, ask for collateral.

Through this, the BSP, local government units, Department of Finance, Cooperative Development Authority, cooperatives, microfinance NGOs and government financing institutions (GFIs) will join hands to create an initial fund.

This fund may be used by entrepreneurs and businessmen belonging to cooperatives and microfinance NGOs, which helped establish it, as collateral or guarantee for bank loans.  

“So hopefully we’ll be able to provide loans at this space with comparable rates completing the whole financial inclusion supply chain,” said Sen. Bam.

Furthermore, the new law will help build the capability of MSMEs, cooperatives and non-government organizations in the areas of credit evaluation, loan and risk management, and good governance.

Also, the bill seeks to enhance the MSMEs’ credit worthiness and broaden access to credit facilities, and sustain the continuous flow of credit in the countryside.

“This will generate more employment and alleviate poverty through increased investments and economic activities,” added Aquino, stressing that the challenge is to grow the micro businesses into small enterprises and the small enterprises to medium enterprises.

“If it this is done, growth would not only be for the few rich, rather, it would be for everyone, even to the poorest Filipino,” Aquino said.

The Credit Surety Fund Cooperative Act is the tenth law of Aquino in the 16th Congress.

He is a former social entrepreneur, who worked on livelihood and business development projects in poor communities for a long time before running for a senate seat in 2012.

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