Amid soaring prices of basic commodities in the country, Davaoeños from different sectoral groups are continuing to benefit from low-interest loan programs under a 10-year-old livelihood initiative of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.
“Presyo, Trabaho, Kita/Kaayusan” or “PTK” is a livelihood program for existing sectoral groups, which was launched by Cayetano in 2013 with the main objective of providing Filipinos with easy access to capital through low-interest loans.
In an effort to ensure their growth, the team of the PTK program on Thursday visited the San Isidro Farmer Consumers Cooperative, Queens Livelihood Association ‘Davao Queens’, Quarry Sidecar Association of Bankerohan Inc. (QUASCABI), and Madalo Bankerohan Sidecar Operators and Drivers Association, Inc (MABASCODAI) in Davao City.
The cooperatives’ presidents shared that the capital provided to them under the ‘Presyo, Trabaho, Kita/Kaayusan’ program sustained them before, during, and after the pandemic.
Before the pandemic, San Isidro Farmer Consumers Cooperative President Paterno Guarde said their group was able to get their assets to over 200 percent of the initial P100,000 capital, enabling them to provide loans to their members and even to the people living in their area.
While collecting payment became difficult during the pandemic, Guarde said the availability of funds from their cooperative provided the safety net their members needed – a benefit they were able to get since they became a beneficiary of PTK in 2014.
Davao Queens likewise received their initial capital from PTK in 2014, which they used to put up a grocery store.
Now, Davao Queens President Bing Apa said they are using the fruit of the PTK fund to buy raw materials and ingredients for household commodities such as soap and peanut butter which they sell.
Apa added that they have expanded into various chapters across Davao City, each with a president and a set of officers.
Meanwhile QUASCABI, a group of tricycle drivers and operators, received financial aid under PTK in September of 2015, which helped their members purchase their basic needs. Years later, their cooperative has built their own office with equipment such as compressors, car wash sets, and even supplies such as spare tires.
MABASCODAI likewise became a beneficiary back in September 2015. To date, their cooperative has been helpful to their members by providing financial assistance.
In July 2022, with the goal of exponentially growing the PTK, Cayetano filed in the Senate the Puhunan Tungo sa Kaunlaran (PTK) Act to institutionalize the program and be able to help more Filipinos nationwide.
“Many Filipinos have the talent, skill, drive, and perseverance to run a good business. However, the lack of access to capital and affordable financing limits their opportunity to start their own business, and the same impediment hinder those who currently have businesses to expand,” Cayetano said in the explanatory note.
The PTK currently has more than 200 beneficiary groups across the country, composed of public utility vehicle drivers and operators, market vendors, women, farmers, and fisherfolk, among others.