Press Release
February 16, 2013

Cayetano: "5-6 not 6.6"

"The masses do not feel the 6.6% growth rate. What they feel is 5-6." This is what Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano learned as he visited vendors and consumers today at the Murphy Public Market in Quezon City.

The prevalent "5-6" practice is a loan operation where debtors are charged a hefty 20 percent in interest as opposed to bank rates that average around 6 to 8 percent or 15 percent for rural banks.

Vendors at the market today explained that they resort to borrowing from "5-6" operators because they have no other means to make ends meet and because borrowing from legitimate financial institutions is a difficult process

Cayetano explained that vendors resort to the 5-6 practice due to lack of capital. "Sa gobyerno, pag hihiram ka ng puhunan, masyadong mahaba ang proseso. Sa isang araw, kailangan mong mag-absent, pumila ng matagal at magpasa ng mga papeles. Sa 5-6, text lang, may puhunan ka na, (Borrowing money from the government is a long process. You need to take a day off from work, wait in line for such a long time and pass papers. With 5-6 operators, one text is all you need), he said.

He emphasized that this practice must be stopped because it is hurting instead of helping vendors as well as micro-entrepreneurs. "Ang Pilipinas ay hindi uunlad kung ang small enterprise ay walang kapital (The Philippines will not achieve real progress if small enterprises have no access to capital)," he said.

He concluded that the government needs to invest in creating and expanding existing cooperatives that will allow coop members cheaper interest rates.

The senator also learned that vendors lack PhilHealth coverage and are unable to register every 3 years, as required by the institution. Cayetano said that he will study how to require local government units to assist their constituents in acquiring PhilHealth coverage. "One of the suggestions was to have a roving PhilHealth workers. I will study if this can be mandated by law," Cayetano shared.

Cayetano is on a PiTiK listening tour. ""Kinukuha namin ang Pulso at Tinig ng Kababayan para sa PiTiK: Presyo,Trabaho, Kita (We are getting the pulse of the people on issues relating to inflation, employment and wages)," Cayetano said.

He conducted a consultation at Pritil Market last Tuesday, the flower vendors at Dangwa Market last Wednesday, and the Taguig City Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA) last Friday as part of the tour.

He is set to visit the Lambat Partylist meeting in Taguig City tomorrow, February 17, Sunday to listen to the needs and concerns of the fisherfolk.

Cayetano is running for re-election as senator under the Nacionalista Party with the Team PNoy coalition.

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