Partido Reporma presidential candidate Sen. Panfilo Lacson and his running mate Senate President Vicente Sotto III proposed that the government institute a “paluwagan” (rotating savings and credit association) system for MSMEs and agricultural workers to unburden them of loans with interest payments.
The duo said small businessmen, farmers, and fishermen need this lifeline especially since as the economy is still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lacson-Sotto tandem committed that under their administration, MSMEs and agricultural workers can expect more help from the government, especially in terms of financial and technical support.
The two held dialogues with MSME representatives and members of the agricultural sector as they toured Northern Luzon from Baguio City, Pangasinan, to Nueva Ecija over the weekend.
“It would be best for us to have credit institutions that are together with a particular sector, it would be great because they would then help each other. Haven’t we all grown up to a ‘paluwagan,’ or a small community financial group? They won’t even have to pay interest on it,” said Lacson.
The presidential bet stressed the importance of the ‘paluwagan’ system as an informal way of saving and lending that is easy to join and often has interest-free loans.
He, however, admitted the need for the government to regulate the system to protect beneficiaries from scams and financial losses.