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Palawenya Lending Corp, a local lending company, will mark its third anniversary on August 20, with the hope that the economy would soon revive despite the country’s ongoing health crisis.

Although the economy has slowed, Cecille Fresnillo, one of the company’s founders, said that they remain committed to providing loan grants to eligible borrowers.

Interestingly, the number of applications for wage loans has climbed in both the private and public sectors.

“During the second quarter medyo nag-slow down ang operation ng Palawenya Lending due to quarantine measures imposed by the government. Nag-close din kami for almost a month. The business regained momentum in June of this year. This July, we noticed that loan applications increased, dahil baka marami rin ang naapektuhan talaga. From July to August, especially itong anniversary month namin, maganda ang extensions namin. Most of our releases ay employees talaga,” she said.

She remembered that even when they had to close their office at the beginning of 2020 due to enhanced community quarantine, they worked from home and continued to handle wage loans since it was their commitment to borrowers and what kept them afloat.

They also closed their office in 2021 owing to localized lockdowns caused by surges in COVID-19 cases in the city. However, according to her, they had their largest loan releases from January to June compared to the same period last year.

“Mas nag-improve siya kaya tingin ko, generally ay hindi naman tayo naapektuhan ng pandemic. Tuloy-tuloy siya, at masasabi ko na maganda yong takbo ng business higit sa lahat nakakatulong tayo kahit papaano. Ang lending rates natin ay hindi ganoon kataas,” sa isang clean loan (non-collateralized) she said.

Since its founding in Puerto Princesa in 2018 by five former JCI Peacock past presidents, the women-owned lending business has maintained a track record of quick loan processing. Loan applicants are assured that their loan application will be evaluated and the results will be made known to them within 2-3 days including the release of loan proceeds, she said.

She emphasized that the company does not deduct service fees and other charges to the loan proceeds. We want loan borrowers to utilize in full the amount borrowed from the company.

“Magagamit mo kasi ng buo base sa pangangailangan mo pag walang bawas.  Kapag binawasan natin ‘yan, instead na natulungan ka namin, baka mamroblema ka pa sa binawas” she said.

Milestones in three years
Fresnillo said that, like many other lending businesses, they were also impacted by the pandemic, but they were able to turn the table around in their favor credited primarily to hard work and resilience.

Marking its third year of operation, the lending company is now eyeing to branch out in the northern and southern towns of the province in 2022 and 2023. The company targets to put up branches in El Nido and either Bataraza or Brooke’s Point.

“Siguro kung hindi tayo nag-pandemic, sana this 2021, we plan to branch out in El Nido. But due to the pandemic, na differ yung plano medyo mahirap mag mobilize ngayon and nakikiramdam pa tayo sa takbo ng ekonomiya syempre , hindi ganoon kadali kumilos,” she said.

Despite the company’s growth, Fresnillo said that they continue to encourage financial literacy among borrowers. One of their goals is to improve the lives of their clients by teaching them how to manage their money.

“Importante ang financial literacy, kaya kami rito, we conduct orientation also. Before the release of loans, we orient our clients — nandiyan din yong disclosure statement. Magkano ba hiniram mo? saan napunta ito? Ganito ang monthly amortizations, ganito lang ang puwedeng i-grant kasi ganito lang ang magiging disposable income mo,” she said.

“Ang [goal] namin ay educate pa rin natin ang tao, minsan kasi bahala na lang ang attitude. Hindi dapat ganoon. Mas gusto rin namin na matanong ang naglo-loan, mas gusto namin nagko-compute ng interest. Kapag ganoon ang borrower, ibig sabihin nag-aaral ito, nagpaplano ito. This very challenging time that we are  up against, we, the incorporators, are keeping our fingers crossed that the economy will bounce back anytime soon towards normalcy,” she added.

The Palawenya Lending Corp will celebrate its third anniversary on August 20 and will extend simple gestures of appreciation to clienteles and investors.