By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has vowed to put an end to the ‘5-6’ money lending scheme which has made poor Filipinos fall into a debt trap.
At the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) summit in Clark, Pampanga on Tuesday, the President said he intends to stop the 5-6 scheme, the informal lending practice that charges high interest to borrowers, or the collectors themselves.
“Ang gusto ko talagang patayin, if God will give me at least more years if I can finish my term, itong 5-6 [I really want to put an end to, if God will give me at least more years if I can finish my term, this 5-6,” he said in his speech.
“That is my burning desire. Either I stop the 5-6 or I will stop the collectors,” he added.
The President recalled that he managed to stop the “double dealing” of 5-6 lenders when he was mayor of Davao City.
Duterte admitted that he threatened to kill the unscrupulous persons who lend money with extremely high interest rates and sell overpriced appliances to cash-strapped Filipinos. He claimed that he raised such concern in his meeting with a “Prime Minister” and an “ambassador,” without identifying the country.
“Ang style nila — hindi lang lahat pero, magpabili pa sila ng sala set. ‘Di ba? Dagdagan pa nila ng refrigerator. Ipagbilli sa’yo ‘yan, mahal, sige ka bayad, ‘yung ibinabayad mo sa unggoy, ‘yan ang ibabayad niya, kumikita pa siya [Their style was, not all of them, sell sala sets, right? They will add a refrigerator, sell it to you at a steep price, and then you’ll pay. Your payment to this monkey will be used to pay for it. He even earns a profit],” he said.
“Sabi ko doon noong mayor ako, ‘That this is too much.’ Sobra ‘yan. But before that I communicated it to the ambassador at that time, sinabi ko, “they run the risk of — you know.” Kasi ang sinabi ko, “‘pag hindi niyo hintuin ‘yang 5-6 na ‘yan, kayo ang hintuin ko.” Mark my word [I said when I was a mayor, ‘That is too much.’ But before that I communicated it to the ambassador at that time, I said, ‘They run the risk of you know…’ Because I said, ‘If you do not stop 5-6, I will stop you.’ Mark my word],” he said.
Last year, President Duterte ordered a crackdown on the “5-6” money lending scheme and warned foreigners engaged in such usurious business will be arrested and deported.
Duterte also previously said he wanted to meet with government officials of India on the alleged involvement of its nationals in the 5-6 lending scheme.
He said the government has already set aside billions for affordable micro-financing for MSMEs to reduce the Filipinos’ reliance on the “5-6” money lending scheme.