Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has released more than P5.54 million in capital assistance fund in his continuing commitment to aid indigent families and aspiring entrepreneurs put up their own livelihood.
In ceremonies at the city hall, Estrada handed P5,000 each to 1,109 Manileños, the latest batch of beneficiaries of the Capital Assistance Program that he started back in 2013.
“With this small amount, we hope to help you establish your own source of income. Who knows? Maybe some of you will become truly successful businessmen someday,” Estrada told the beneficiaries.
CAP is a livelihood initiative that provides cash loans to eligible poor individuals or families to help them pursue small businesses or any income-generating activities.
The loan is payable from six to 10 weeks with no interest or collateral.
With a soft heart for the poor, Estrada said it is his wish for every poor Manileño to be able to stand on their own feet and not rely on government dole outs to survive in life.
“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime,” he said, quoting the famous Chinese proverb.
The 1,109 beneficiaries, who were first-time applicants in the program, came from the city’s six districts and Baseco Compound in Port Area, according to Nanet Tanyag, head of the Manila Department of Social Welfare.
With the P5,000 loan, the beneficiaries may start backyard businesses such as eateries, small barber shops, beauty parlors, sari-sari stores, manicure-pedicure, small-scale vending, and similar ventures that require only minimal capital.
Through free lectures and trainings, the beneficiaries are also taught the rudiments of business management and operation to effectively run their community-based businesses, Tanyag said.
CAP is also offered to street hawkers in Divisoria and public markets in Manila to help them increase their profit and improve their economic standing.
On February 2016, a total of 2,624 CAP beneficiaries applied and managed to secure loans amounting to P13.1 million. These were followed by another batch of 532 on the second semester of the year.
This February, Estrada also released P607,000 to a batch of 108 “second- timers” or those who have repaid the initial seed fund loaned to them by the city government last year.
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