DTI: P3.3B released to MSMEs under COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises
MANILA, Philippines — Only P3.3 billion of the P10-billion COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises has so far been released to pandemic-hit micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) loan applicants under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Friday.
“Ongoing [distribution], P3.3 billion out of P10 billion. Wala ngang backlog yan, kami pa nag-iimbita ngayon, nagpropromote kasi yung take up nyan slower pa two months ago so we had to really promote,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel when asked of the progress on assistance for MSMEs.
(The distribution is ongoing, P3.3 billion out of P10 billion. There’s no backlog there. We’re the ones inviting, promoting because the take up is slower two months ago so we really had to promote.)
“Dati 200 applications a week, ngayon nag-1,000 applications na a week. So dumami na rin finally,” he added.
(Before we only had 200 applications a week, now the applications are hitting 1,000 a week. So it finally increased.)
Under the Bayanihan 2, financial support amounting to P10 billion was allotted to the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program to help mitigate the adverse impact of the pandemic on MSMEs.
Lopez surmised MSMEs were reluctant or worried about repaying behind the small number of loan applications.
“Our thinking then, the potential borrowers also probably are a bit reluctant, they’re not really keen kasi they’re worried of repaying, of course. So tinitignan din nila yun, if they’re business is closed, how can they commit to pay? ‘Yun ‘yung mga problema doon,” Lopez said.
“That’s the reason why sometimes it’s not microfinancing that’s needed but a straightforward subsidy,” he admitted.
Under the program, MSMEs can apply for loans ranging from P10,000 to P5 million with no interest and with a grace period of up to a year.
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