P8-B MSME funds released to DTI

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MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) bared during its budget hearing at the Senate Wednesday that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) already released PHP8 billion for the loan assistance for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Of the amount downloaded to DTI, its financing arm Small Business (SB) Corp. has disbursed PHP1.2 billion to 1,160 MSMEs.

Last October 27, SB Corp. opened the application for the new batch of the Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program that provides loans to MSMEs at zero-percent interest, with only minimal service fee, and a six-month grace period.

The Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or the Bayanihan 2 allocated PHP10 billion for the SB Corp. for the rolling out of the CARES 2 program.

At the hearing, Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said there are more than 26,000 MSME loan applications that are still pending with the DTI.

It was also noted that these businesses are employing five to 10 personnel each, translating to saving jobs of 130,000 to 260,000 Filipinos.

Angara mentioned data from DTI that only 5 percent of establishments were closed as of this month, from the 38 percent in June as restrictions were relaxed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. (PNA)

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