BanKo loans hit P22 billion

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star
BanKo loans hit P22 billion
Photo shows a BPI branch
InterAksyon file photo

MANILA, Philippines — The microfinance arm of Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has released over P22 billion in loans over the past four years to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Jose Teodoro “TG” Limcaoco, president and chief executive officer at BPI, said BPI Direct BanKo has served more than 181,000 customers since its inception in 2017.

“Our goal is to provide access to more working capital to these micro entrepreneurs and to digitalize the processes to make it easier for them,” Limcaoco said.

He said BanKo’s network has reached 307 branches nationwide.

“Hopefully, this will allow us to reach even lower income segments and increase the share of other economic activities in our lending portfolio,” he said.

Malacañang has placed the National Capital Region (NCR) under enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 6 to 20 to slow the spread of the more contagious Delta variant.

Limcaoco said MSMEs, as well as self-employed micro-entrepreneurs (SEMEs), rely on mobility to get their businesses going.

“So the longer a lockdown and the stricter lockdown is that’s negative for businesses. We need to work very closely with them, make sure they have access to capital, many of them are providing essential services,” Limcaoco said.

He said their clients, including market vendors, need help in terms of capital to replenish their inventories and ensure the steady distribution of food.

BanKo financial inclusion and microfinance loans head Rod Mabiasen earlier said the microfinance arm of BPI is offering the loan rehabilitation fund and term extension programs to help micro-entrepreneur clients.

“Our clients need our support now more than ever. As their partner, we are here to help them revive their businesses for the sake of their families amid these trying times,” Mabiasen said.

To support clients who are finding it difficult to restart due to depleted cash, BanKo is offering the loan rehabilitation fund program, allowing existing borrowers to take out another loan to support their businesses.

Likewise, borrowers can also avail of the term extension program and reschedule their amortization payments based on their new cash flow.

BanKo reported earlier over 4,600 clients have already extended their loan terms and over 800 NegosyoKo loan clients availed of the loan rehabilitation fund program.

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