Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson turned over yesterday to the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation the P12 million funds allocated by the provincial government for the rehabilitation program of micro-businesses affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
Lacson turned over the check to NWTF Inc. executive director Suzzette Gaston in rites held at the Provincial Capitol.
Through the Provincial Economic Development and Investment Center, the province partnered with the non-government organization to implement the program for the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector.
The partnership was formalized on Jan. 5 through the signing of a memorandum of agreement between Lacson and Gaston.
In a statement, Lacson said the MSMEs play a “very important role” for a developing country like the Philippines by stimulating economic development in rural and far-flung areas.
“The Covid-19 crisis severely affected this sector, requiring the government to provide its support that will prove vital to the province’s health, social, and economic recovery,” he said.
Lacson said the partnership resulted from a unified response on the need for cooperation and strategic partnerships between institutions to contribute according to their expertise and capacities.
“NWTF’s extensive experience in the implementation of microfinance programs and its established area of operations all over the province will be highly advantageous and beneficial towards the efforts of the province to save the livelihood and jobs through the infusion of working capital for micro-business,” he said.
The P12 million fund was endorsed by the province to the NWTF as the program conduit and implementer in the form of a loan without interest payable over six years starting the end of 2021.
As the fund manager, the NWTF will be responsible for the disbursement of loans and collection of payments to target clientele and will screen the list of applicants recommended by the local government units and confirm its approval.
It will also make the program funds accessible to identified beneficiaries of all towns and cities in Negros Occidental through the NWTF’s 31 branches.*PNA