Quick and easy access to capital is key to improving the lives of financially underserved borrowers.
It is a cyclic problem that has drastically affected and marginalized generations of small business owners. In need of urgent capital for operations or expansion, they go to loan sharks who impose exorbitant interests in the form of “5/6” and other fees, thus losing the little income that they have to pay for necessities, the education of their children, or for medical needs. They borrow money again just to earn a living where their income is used to pay for interests. This cycle goes on and on. The clutches of poverty pass on to the next generation.
“This has to stop. Our small and micro-entrepreneurs must not be taken advantage of, especially by a lending system that essentially cripples them and affects the future of their children,” says Alan.
Alan reveals that he came up with the Presyo, Trabaho, Kita/ Kaayusan Program or PTK during one of his trips around the country. He saw the disparity and inequality amid the opportunities. Even with the economic growth experienced by the country, the ones who are in the lower rungs of the income strata continue to be stuck at the bottom.
“They are hardworking. They wake up early to prepare what is needed for the day. They earn an honest living. But these vendors, fisherfolk, jeepney drivers, or hog raisers find it difficult to escape poverty because what little they earn is taken from them,” he explains.
The PTK program gives cash grants to associations or cooperatives, which in turn give loans to members with low-interest rates. It is a win-win solution, with the ultimate goal of uplifting the lives of those in the micro and small enterprises.
“These enterprises employ more than 80% of our workers. If we empower them by offering a loan that still respects their dignity, then this is an effective way to open more opportunities and finally eradicate the chains of poverty that beset a lot of our fellow Filipinos.”
Alan says the beneficiaries of the PTK were able to create real change and improve the lives of their members in different provinces. By giving them affordable loans to start a new livelihood, they are able to augment their family income or assist them during emergency situations.
“Sometimes, it just takes a ‘helping hand’ to help them survive. The success stories of the PTK beneficiaries encourage me to further strengthen this program, and find private sector partners to work with more associations and cooperatives,” Alan says. “This is about bringing authentic and compassionate change among our people – one that truly lifts them from cyclic and oppressive poverty.”
“Sometimes, it just takes a ‘helping hand’ to help them survive. The success stories of the PTK beneficiaries encourage me to further strengthen this program and find private sector partners to work with more associations and cooperatives. This is about bringing authentic and compassionate change among our people – one that truly lifts them from cyclic and oppressive poverty.”
“Salamat sa tulong ni Alan. Gagamitin namin ang tulong na ito upang mas tulungan pa ang aming mga miyembro.”
– Angeles 1 Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association and Golden Group Cooperatives, after receiving a P150,000 financial assistance.
“Malaki ang naitulong ng PTK ni Alan sa pagpapalaki ng kita ko at sa pagbago ng buhay namin. Ga-graduate na sa kolehiyo ang anak ko.”
− Carmelita Razo, market vendor at the Magsaysay Fish Market in Dagupan, Pangasinan. She has eight children and earns only P150 to P300 a day. But with the help of the PTK, she was able to not only increase her earnings but finally manage to help fulfill her youngest child’s dream of being a teacher.
“Hindi na kailangang umutang pa na may malaking interes para mag-negosyo. May PTK na kung saan ‘di lamang ang kooperatiba ang makikinabang kundi ang mismong miyembro rin.”
− Ulopan Na Sumisigay Ed Dagupan, Inc., (UNSEDI). With the help of the PTK, it was able to extend a P10,000 low-interest loan for their member’s small businesses.
“Yung nagpapahiram po dito, halos 20% ang tubo. Kaso wala naman po kaming magawa dahil kailangan namin. Nang magkaroon ng PTK, malaking ginhawa talaga ito, dahil natulungan ang mga miyembro namin dahil sa mababang porsyento sa pagpapahiram ng pera. Kaya nagpapasalamat kami kay Alan dahil siya ang umalalay sa amin. Napakaswerte namin na dumating ang tulong ni nya.”
− June Castro, President of Angeles-San Fernando Jeepney Operators Association (ASFERJODA). He revealed that the low-interest loans provided by the PTK allowed them to purchase a jeep. The jeepney’s income was converted into soft loans for their members to survive during the pandemic.
“Ang laki ng tulong ng PTK sa aming mamamayan dito. Maraming nag-umpisa ng mga maliliit na negosyo at livelihood projects dito mula noong bumisita sa amin si Alan four years ago. Sana makapasyal siya uli rito para makita niya ang magandang bunga ng PTK. Kung wala siya, hindi mangyayari ang ginhawang ito sa amin.”
− Leonardo Nicdao, Kagawad of Brgy. Balibago, Angeles City, Pampanga.
“Pandemic muna, bagyo, dumating naman yung Swine Fever. Naubos pa yung mga baboy. Hindi namin alam kung saan kami hahap ng pagkakakitaan namin, buti na lang andiyan si Alan para tulungan kami.”
– Aling Lina, hog raiser and senior citizen from Brgy. Balibago, Angeles City, Pampanga.