by Carlo John R. Pascual
For so many years, reducing poverty has been one of the top priorities of the government. Anti-poverty policies such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) was introduced to address the short-term financial needs of the poorest among the poor families of society, but the government recognized that it can help these families in the long-term. Hence, on Nov. 3, 2015, Republic Act 10693 or the Microfinance NGOs Act was signed into law by then-president Benigno Aquino III.
Under Section 2 of said law, it is the policy of the State to "pursue a program of poverty eradication, wherein poor Filipino families shall be encouraged to undertake entrepreneurial activities to meet their minimum baisc needs including income security." To achieve this policy, the same section further provides that "the State shall support and work in partnership with qualified NGOs in promoting financially inclusive and pro-poor financial and credit policies and mechanisms, such as microfinance and its allied services. "It can be said that RA 10693 is a landmark law because it gives poor families an opportunity to start their own small businesses with the help of microfinance NGOs.