Aspiring gasoline station entrepreneurs can now apply for low-cost loans under the Department of Energy’s Gasoline Station Lending and Financial Assistance Program.
The program, which was established in 1998 under the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Law, would benefit overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) looking to putting up a business locally, said party list Representative Arnel Ty of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers’ Association (LPG/MA) in a statement Sunday.
“The private sector [companies such as Shell and Petron] has a P5-million start-up for [small-scale gas stations]. If these are handled by businessmen with no experience in the oil industry, nalulugi lang,” Ty said in a phone interview with GMA News Online on Monday.
In a department circular last March, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said borrowers may get up to P10 million or 80 percent of the total business cost. A 20-percent venture capital would serve as the borrower’s equity.
To qualify for the loan, individuals or groups need to complete a program run by the Energy Department in preparing entrepreneurs for the rigors of owning a gasoline outlet or an auto LPG station.
“[This] especially [affects] OFWs. Pag nalugi na sila, babalik na naman sila abroad,” Ty said.
The loans have a fixed interest rate of 6 percent a year and a maximum 10-year term, with the first installment due six months after the initial fund is released.
Prior to Almendras’ circular, the program allowed a maximum loan of P5 million and a seven-year term.
Ty said he will file a resolution with the House energy committee to clarify details of the program and eventually name the private entities that are part of program. — With Bea Cupin/VS, GMA News