DTI to launch new livelihood program

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - December 25, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will begin implementing next year a P350 million livelihood program.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters the agency has secured approval for the P350 million allocation for the livelihood program.

Under the program, he said the DTI would be giving P10,000 to every beneficiary and the amount would be used to start a business.

Beneficiaries of the livelihood program could sell products by setting up sari-sari stores.

There will be 35,000 beneficiaries and they will be chosen from the fourth to sixth class municipalities, as well those in calamity stricken areas.

“Initially, we will give to those who previously had businesses. Not everyone is ready to go into business,” Lopez said.

The funds will be disbursed through a card system.

“What is important is we are able to control this, there would be data on where we should go, and monitoring,” Lopez said.

The DTI decided to come up with a livelihood program next year based on the agency’s experience of holding seminars. Attendees want to immediately start a business, but could not do so because they don’t have capital.

While the DTI is implementing the  Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) lending program, it only extends loans to existing businesses.

“This (livelihood program) is to jumpstart business,” Lopez said.

Once the beneficiaries of the program are ready to expand, that’s when they can avail of loans under P3.

P3 serves as an alternative to the “5-6” money lending system.

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