Monday, 8 April 2013 supports important green initiative in the Philippines!

We have added our first sustainable social enterprise loan to the website to help tricycle taxi drives to acquire cleaner engines for their tricycles.  We are supporting an initiative launched by our partner in the Philippines, SEEDFINANCE and a local company called “Clean Engines Incorporated” (CEI) to help reduce air pollution in Metropolitan Manila.  This initiative aims to encourage local tricycle taxi drivers to switch over from two-stroke petrol and diesel powered engines (highly pollutant) to environmentally-friendly liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) engines.

In the Philippines 84% of the country’s population depends on tricycles (similar to rickshaws) for transport. At present, 70% of these tricycles have polluting two-stroke engines. This has a devastating impact on the environment as well as on the health of urban residents.

The local council of Mandaluyong City in Manila has  recently enacted legislation requiring all tricycles to switch over to cleaner liquefied petroleum gas (LPG),  which is undoubtedly beneficial in the long-term, but in the short-term is expensive  (sometimes unaffordable) for tricycle taxi drivers.
This is where lendwithcare and you specifically come in! We are going to help to make this happen.   For the first time, our microfinance partner (and not an individual entrepreneur) is requesting a large loan of $25,000 US Dlls to provide smaller loans of $500 to 50 motorized tricycle taxi so that they can pay for their vehicles to be switched over to LPG without crippling their livelihoods.
The loans are to be provided through a local financial co-operative called “The Rizal Technological University Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative” (RTU-KMPC). The loans will be repaid over 18 months.  The RTU-KMPC will require tricycle drivers to become members before providing them with a loan to purchase the LPG toolkit that enables the change. Once the kit is installed, air pollution is significantly reduced but also tricycle drivers spend less money on fuel. As members they will also be entitled to access other financial and non-financial services of the co-operative and also share in its profits.
The various parties involved, SEEDFINANCE, CEI and the RTU-KMPC are liaising with the Mandaluyong City local government not only to stress the environmental and fuel efficiency aspects of the switch from diesel to LPG, but also to assist local tricycle drivers to pay for the change. CEI will provide training to LPG toolkit users, provide warranties and establish several maintenance shops throughout the city. The aim is to eventually extend the project and provide loans to more tricycle drivers and make Mandaluyong City a cleaner, less polluted and more pleasant place to live and work, and hopefully a role model to other areas in Manila and other cities in the Philippines.
To read more about this fantastic initiative and to support tricycle taxi drivers click here  

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