MANILA -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has sought about PHP2 billion to fund its initiatives to bring back livelihood activities in Marawi City and its nearby areas.

DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya, in a briefing Monday, said the department has asked for about PHP2 billion as budget to roll out various projects in Marawi City being part of the Task Force Bangon Marawi.

Maglaya cited the department’s initiatives to help traders in Marawi City and its peripheries as well as internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to Marawi crisis. These include shared service facilities (SSF), mobile rice mills, tricycles, and microfinancing facilities.

She noted that DTI has earmarked PHP50 million for SSF projects in Marawi.

She added that these SSFs aim to revive industries in Marawi such as weaving, woodworking, and brasswares among others.

SSF Program provides technology, machinery, equipment, tools, systems, skills, and knowledge under a shared system to MSMEs for them to improve the quantity and quality of their products services in order to increase their competitiveness in both domestic and international market.

Maglaya said that around 6,000 tricycle units are needed in Marawi for mobility of people and commodities in the area.

DTI’s financing arm Small Business (SB) Corp. is also looking into availing loans to finance the needs in Marawi such as acquisition of tricycle units, the trade official noted.

The DTI also eyes to provide more mobile rice mills in Marawi.

Even before the war hit Marawi in May 2017, the city has been the center of trading in the province and  nearby areas.

Maglaya added that DTI will be providing microloans through Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso or the P3 Program, which aims to eliminate loan sharks such as the ‘5-6’ lending scheme.

Through the P3, the government can lend PHP5,000 up to PHP100,000 loan to borrowers at an interest rate of not exceeding 2.5 percent per month. (PNA)