Ar­rest, de­port those in­volved in ‘5-6’ lend­ing scheme – DU30

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page - By GENALYN D. KABILING and REY G. PANALI­GAN

The gov­ern­ment is step­ping up its crack­down on for­eign­ers en­gaged in the no­to­ri­ous “5-6” money lend­ing scheme to ease the suf­fer­ing of poor Filipinos.

Dur­ing Mon­day’s Cab­i­net meet­ing, Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary Em­manuel Piñol said Pres­i­dent Duterte or­dered the ar­rest and de­por­ta­tion of for­eign­ers in­volved in the du­bi­ous money-lend­ing scheme.

“So­bra na yan. Pau­tan­gin ng “5-6” (in­ter­est rate) tapos ben­ta­han pa ng ma­hal na mga ap­pli­ance. Patay ta­laga ang po­bre dyan (That is al­ready too much. They lend you money with a “5-6” in­ter­est and sell ap­pli­ances at a high price. The poor can never sur­vive that kind of scheme),” Piñol quoted the Pres­i­dent.

The Pres­i­dent has di­rected For­eign Af­fairs Sec­re­tary Per­fecto Yasay Jr. to in­form the In­dian Am­bas­sador in the Philip­pines about his de­ci­sion “to stop the usu­ri­ous lend­ing scheme in the Philip­pines,” Piñol said.

Vi­o­lat­ing the law “They are vi­o­lat­ing Philip­pine laws by in­dulging in a money-mak­ing busi­ness with­out the nec­es­sary per­mits,” Duterte said.

Piñol noted that around 50,000 mo­tor­cy­cle-rid­ing Pun­jabis have been charg­ing high in­ter­est rates in their money lend­ing of­fer to bor­row­ers in the coun­try. When a bor­rower owes a 15,000 loan, they are forced to pay 11,000 in­ter­est in a month col­lected every day. A per­son who owes 11,000 un­der the “5-6” scheme has to pay 130 a day for 40 days or a to­tal of 11,200.

“The very high in­ter­est rates, how­ever, have re­sulted in hard­ships for the bor­row­ers who could hardly pay up the loans,” the agri­cul­ture sec­re­tary said.

Jus­tice Sec­re­tary Vi­tal­iano Aguirre II said those en­gaged in the “5-6” lend­ing scheme can be ar­rested even with­out a war­rant if they do not have busi­ness per­mit and other gov­ern­ment re­quire­ments.

The in­ter­est in the “5-6” lend­ing ac­tiv­ity is le­gal af­ter the re­peal of the Usury Law and the re­moval of the in­ter­est ceil­ings, he said, “but we could not ac­cept that kind of in­ter­est. In civil cases, the courts do not rec­og­nize that usu­ri­ous in­ter­est rate.”

11-B standby fund To curb depen­dence on du­bi­ous lend­ing schemes, Piñol said the gov­ern­ment has set aside an ini­tial 11 bil­lion to pro­vide easy ac­cess to loans to small busi­ness­men.

The Pres­i­dent promised to al­lo­cate ad­di­tional funds for mi­cro lend­ing in all re­gions as soon as the Philip­pine Char­ity Sweep­stakes Of­fice (PCSO) and the Philip­pine Amuse­ment and Gam­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (Pag­cor) re­mit their in­come to the na­tional gov­ern­ment.

Trade Sec­re­tary Ra­mon Lopez has ob­served the “5-6” lend­ing scheme has pro­lif­er­ated due to the in­abil­ity of gov­ern­ment lend­ing in­sti­tu­tions to pro­vide an easy ac­cess fa­cil­ity for small busi­ness­men.

“Sec. Lopez said DTI has al­ready de­signed a scheme on how to ex­tend soft loans to small busi­ness­men with an in­ter­est of 20% every year, payable in one year,” Piñol said.

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