Presidential bet Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and his running mate, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, reiterated their shared vision of achieving inclusive growth by providing sustainable alternative livelihood programs for small entrepreneurs and ordinary workers in the country.
The duo extended the reach of their “Ronda-Serye” listening tour to the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City, where they personally listened to the concerns of street vendors and “UP Ikot” drivers and presented their bold solutions to address the country’s disorder.
A common problem raised by vendors and drivers is the lack of access to capital to help sustain their source of income. They explained that they often resort to borrowing money from 5-6 loan sharks that charge usurious interest rates.
“Kaya ako galit sa gobyerno. Sobra na ang gulo at hirap, ninanakawan pa ang tao. Kaya ang maliliit na negosyante gaya ng vendors at jeepney drivers ay napipilitang kumapit sa patalim at nabibiktima ng 5-6 lenders. Hindi tama ito. I’m telling them now, if elected in May, their days are numbered,” Duterte stressed.
To allow ordinary workers to feel the benefits of economic growth, Cayetano vowed to mobilize the national government budget so that small entrepreneurs and people’s cooperatives can have better opportunities to grow and provide assistance to their members.
He is also pushing for the establishment of a bank that will provide loans and other services to MSMEs, similar to Thailand’s SME Bank.
“Kailangan magkaroon ng bangko para magpautang ng puhunan sa pinakamababang interes sa mga mahihirap at maliliit na negosyante. Ang pinapautang dapat ng gobyerno ay ang mahihirap, hindi puro mayayaman.”
Cayetano has been a firm advocate of MSME development since his reelection campaign in 2013, when he launched his Presyo, Trabaho, Kita (PTK) agenda that grants capital to small-scale workers.
“Sa ilalim ng plataporma namin, may matapang na solusyon at mabilis na aksyon, at ang bawat Pilipinong kumakayod para sa kanyang pamilya ay magkakaroon ng pagkakataong lumago ang buhay. Panahon na para sa tunay na pagbabago. Panahon na para sumaya ang Pilipino,” Cayetano said.