CEBU CITY – Sen. Bam Aquino joined the microfinance community here to celebrate the third anniversary of the enactment of Republic Act 10693 or the Microfinance NGOs Act, which he spearheaded as principal sponsor in the Senate.
The reform was signed into law on Nov. 3, 2015 and has since saved the sector P479.5 million, allowing MFI NGOs to help more Filipinos in need of low-interest, no-collateral loans.
In his speech during the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) Microfinance Entrepreneurs Summit, Sen. Bam thanked MFI NGOs for their role in crafting RA 10693 to help them become more effective in providing assistance to millions of Filipinos.
“Talagang maganda ang ating nakakamit kapag tayo’y nagtutulungan. Kaya po natin gumawa ng mga repormang nakakatulong sa ating mga kababayan,” Sen. Bam said.
“Thanks to our law, there are more micro-loans and more training programs from MFI NGOs for Filipino families and micro-entrepreneurs,” said Sen. Bam.
The senator also said that many micro-enterprises and local entrepreneurs inspired him to push for the passage of the law in the Senate, saying RA 10693 provides them the needed assistance and opportunity to succeed.
“Kaunting tulong, kaunting oportunidad at kaya nang iangat ng Pilipino ang kanilang pamilya. Kaunting tulong at matinding pagkayod at umaasenso ang pamilyang Pilipino,” said Sen. Bam.
Before he became a senator, Sen. Bam worked closely with MFI NGOs during his time as social entrepreneur and co-founder of Hapinoy program, which assists sari-sari store owners.
“Noong binigyan namin sila ng training sa negosyo, noong iniugnay natin sila sa MFIs para makakuha ng puhunan, nagawa nilang palaguin ang kanilang munting tindahan, mapaaral ang mga anak, at makalikha ng mas mabuting kinabukasan para sa kanilang pamilya,” said Sen. Bam.
Republic Act 10693 gives incentives to MFI NGOs to continue helping Filipinos overcome poverty not just through financing but also through financial literacy, livelihood, and entrepreneurship training.
The law also provides MFI NGOs needed support and incentives that includes access to government programs and projects, technical assistance and exemption from taxes.
Sen. Bam’s advocacy for micro, small and medium enterprises inspired him to push for the enactment of several laws, such as the Go Negosyo Act, Youth Entrepreneurship Act, Credit Surety Act and the Personal Property Security Act.