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ASSISTANCE FOR MICRO, SMALL FIRMS

DTI secures another P1B for CARES program

/ 05:12 AM July 31, 2020

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will add another P1 billion to the total loans it is extending to micro and small businesses affected by the coronavirus disease pande­mic, after securing additional funding from two government financial institutions (GFIs).

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the additional funds would come from the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines.

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The fund will be used in the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program, which is being managed by Small Business Corp. (SB Corp.), an attached agency of the DTI.

SB Corp. stopped accepting new applications last June 18, after the applications so far needed more than P3 billion when the fund only had P1 billion. The average loan size asked by applicants across the country comes up to P130,000 each, according to SB Corp. “[We have] P1 billion combined [from both GFIs] for now. We have the P3 fund, too, and hopefully [some additional fund] from [the stimulus package and [the] new budget next year,” he said in a text message to reporters on Thursday.

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Lopez was referring to the P3 program, or the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso, which was launched in 2017 to give micro businesses an alternative to loan sharks.

Also managed by SB Corp., Lopez said they would get more than P3 billion from the P3 program to add to the CARES program.

Lopez previously said that the SB Corp. would accept new applications this week.

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TAGS: Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), micro and small businesses, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez
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