The PSHF opened its first office in 1987 at the time of the sugar crisis on Negros island. Many sugar workers were losing their jobs in the sugarcane plantations and their families were going hungry. The PSHF was initially set up to provide micro-loans to poor families to enable them to engage in alternative or supplementary livelihoods. Later, the scope of the PSHF was broadened to include a wide range of clients, both urban and rural, who needed start-up capital for a small business venture.
With no collateral, the poor cannot avail of loans from the banks so usually, their only option is the so-called "5/6" system, which is short for borrow 5/ pay-back 6, after only 28 days. PSHF loans, in contrast have an affordable 15% annual interest, with the prospect of a rebate subject to meeting contractual repayment terms.
The PSHF also provides medical emergency aid, housing grants and education opportunities to poor families and communities.
To date, the PSHF has assisted over 2,500 families and communities in five provinces of the Philippines. With over 30% of Filipinos living in poverty, no welfare safety net and a deteriorating environment, the PSHF remains a lifeline of hope for numerous poor families in the communities we serve.