DOT urges tourism MSMEs to avail COVID-19 loan program
MANILA, Philippines – Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Wednesday encouraged micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to avail themselves of the CARES for Tourism Rehabilitation of Enterprises and Livelihood (CARES for TRAVEL) Program to help their business and their workers during the on-going pandemic.
This, after the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.), announced the opening of loan applications under the CARES for TRAVEL program during a DOT-hosted webinar titled “COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES): Accessing to Zero Interest Working Capital Loan” held Tuesday.
“The CARES for TRAVEL program primarily seeks to assist tourism MSMEs. The support we give them now will come a long way in ensuring their survival in the coming days as we embark on slowly resuming tourism. The DOT is thrilled to share the news that enterprises may submit their loan applications online while we are awaiting the download of funds to SB Corp,” Puyat said in a statement.
Through the CARES for TRAVEL program, MSMEs in the tourism field will have access to zero interest, no-collateral loans with a loan term period of up to four (4) years, including a corresponding grace period of up to one (1) year.
DOT said the borrower MSMEs would only need to pay a one-time service fee to the SB Corp, the amount of which will depend on the loan term period: 4% for one (1) year; 6% for two (2) years; 7.5% for three (3) years; and 8% for four (4) years.
SB Corp will evaluate and process all loan applications of DOT-accredited MSMEs and local government-accredited small-scale tourism-oriented enterprises to ensure eligibility and determine the loanable amount under the program guidelines.
According to SB Corp, MSMEs with financial statements (FS) in 2018 or 2019 filed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and have no unresolved negative credit dealings are automatically eligible to apply for a loan under the program.
The initial loan amount to be granted to MSME applicants will be based on the submitted BIR-filed FS: not more than P1 million for medium enterprises; not more than P500,000 for small enterprises; and not more than P200,000 for micro-enterprises.
DOT said applications with a higher loan amount might be approved by the SB Corp, provided that enterprises submit their written plan on how to restart or improve their business models.
Meanwhile, the SB Corp shall require additional requirements for MSMEs without BIR-filed FS, which includes 2019 Mayor’s Business Permit for loan requests exceeding Php 50,000, and 2019 Barangay Business Permit for loans less than Php 50,000.
Likewise, enterprises must submit pictures and videos of inventories, equipment, and assets to SB Corp and have no major unresolved negative credit dealings, DOT said.
Last October 12, Puyat and Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez signed a Memorandum of Agreement that seeks to disburse the P6 billion budget allocated to the SB Corp’s CARES program under the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2), directing the agency to expand its loan programs, including that for tourism and “to administer loans for DOT but subject to guidelines from the DOT.
“It was through our consultations with our stakeholders that we were able to pinpoint working capital loans as one—if not the most pressing need of tourism enterprises. Realizing the important role that MSMEs hold in the recovery of the tourism industry, the DOT shall see to it that the allocation for the CARES for TRAVEL program is dispersed fairly to qualified enterprises who will apply,” Puyat added.
Tourism enterprises may access the SB Corp’s CARES Bayanihan 2 Borrower Registration System here: https://brs.sbgfc.org.ph/ Miggy Dumlao, trainee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.