MANILA, June 20 (Mabuhay) — Former senator and now re-elected Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon wants the next Congress to fast track the passage of a bill establishing micro-credit financing to help fight poverty in the rural areas.
Biazon, author of House Bill 1703 filed in the 15th Congress, said micro-credit financing should be one of the functions of the Land Bank of the Philippines.
The congressman said making micro-credit financing easily accessible to micro-entrepreneurs is one way of boosting economic development in the countryside.
“Micro-entrepreneurs thrive in the rural areas like the sari-sari store operators, tricycle drivers, candy vendors and suppliers of daily newspapers,” he said in a statement.
The Biazon proposal seeks to amend Republic Act 3844 or The Code of Agrarian Reform in the Philippines by institutionalizing micro-credit financing as part of Land Bank’s key operations.
The bill authorizes Land Bank to grant collateral-free loans ranging from P2,000 to P20,000 to private individuals or informal groups of persons to finance self-help ventures and small-scale businesses or crafts.
Under the bill, the Land Bank would be required to allocate 25 percent of its loan portfolio to micro-lending.
The measure also mandates Land Bank to submit an annual report to Congress on its micro-lending operations to enable the government to monitor the success of micro-financing as a poverty-reduction scheme as well as to instill fiscal discipline. (MNS)