Government lending arm to set aside P1.5 billion fund for MSMEs affected by COVID- 19 

Due to the continuing rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases and the scarcity of medical devices and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its lending arm- the Small Business Corporation (SBCorp) felt the need to augment the critical supply gap and significantly reduce the risks and serious threat posed by COVID-19 to the health and safety of the Filipino people, particularly the medical frontliners. With these in mind, DTI and SBCorp recognized the importance of providing immediate funding assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who are manufacturing COVID-19 specific medical devices and personal protective equipment (PPEs).

As such, in order to provide the much needed funding assistance, the DTI and SBCorp requested the Office of the President in line with the special power granted to it under RA No.11469 the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act” to:
1.) Reallocate P500 Million from the P1.5 Billion P3 fund under the FY2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA) to provide funding assistance to SMEs manufacturing COVID-19 specific medical devices and ppes; and
2.) Provide for a maximum loan size of P30 Million to the said SMEs on the condition that loans exceeding P5 Million will require third party evaluation from a government financial institution such as the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) or the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).

Meanwhile, SBCorp will continue with its Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) Program, the country’s flagship program for providing economic and employment opportunities to micro  enterprises through the encouragement of entrepreneurship. DTI through SBCorp has been implementing the P3 program since 2017 through a fund downloaded by the National government to SBCorp via the GAA. The P3 program provides micro enterprises that do not have the access to formal credit and with asset size not exceeding Php 3 Million. The program can be easily accessed by micro enterprises at reasonable cost (0.5% interest) with a grace period of 6-months (and can be extended) and minimal requirements- Barangay Certificate and Barangay Clearance. In addition, the program is expected to lure micro enterprises away from usurious loans provided by loan sharks and other informal money lenders.

Another P500 Million was set aside as Enterprise Rehabilitation Fund (ERF) for micro entrepreneurs once the ECQ is lifted with loans up to P200,000. A month-long pilot run in May will be done in Luzon with a nation-wide roll-out aimed by June. In summary, a total of P1.5 Billion for MSMEs were set aside by the DTI. These were all discussed in detail by Ms. Luna Cacanando, SBCorp President, during the second eForum series on #ResilienceAndRecoveryPH conducted via zoom on Wednesdays, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm by the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc (PHILEXPORT) in collaboration with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Employers Confederation of the Philippines e(ECOP) and the Philippine Disaster Relief Foundation (PDRF).
For more details on the DTI-SBCorp funding programs, you may call their hotline at 1-800-10-651- 3333 (8am-5pm) or visit Sbcorp Dti facebook page.- GTM

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