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DTI has rolled out loan facility for pandemic-hit MSMEs –Lopez

The Department of Trade and Industry has already rolled out its loan facility for micro, small, and medium enterprises affected by the enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 threat.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, at the Laging Handa briefing on Saturday said that the  loan program for MSMEs actually started accepting applications last May 25.

According to him, the loan program has already given out P50 million worth of grants for small businesses, so far.

"Bale po,  in general, may program tayong pauutangin ng DTI ang  micro enterprises. Nagsimula po yun nung May 25 may mga applications na tayong natatanggap," he said.

"Kauumpisa lang po yun pero meron na pong P50M worth, pero umpisa na ito," he said referring to the P1-billion loan package for MSMEs.

By end of June, he said, "we expect na may approvals na tayo na mga 1,000, and we hope that by end-July, mad-distribute na natin ang total loan package. So, umpisa na talga ito."

In mid-March, the DTI announced, through its financial conduit SB Corp., that MSMEs hit by the pandemic can borrow funds from the government to restart their operations.

It said the DTI had opened the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARE) program, which is a P1-billion loan facility that aims to support MSMEs affected by the economic impact of the pandemic.

Luna Cacanando, president and CEO of SB Corp., said that the P1-billion facility is divided into two classes of MSMEs.

Micro enterprises with asset size of not more than P3 million may borrow P10,000 up to P200,000, while small enterprises with asset size of not more than P15 million may borrow a higher loan amount of P200,000 to P500,000.

Cacanando also said a grace period of six months will be given to borrowers.

“Talaga pong tulong ito sa ating small enterprises. Mababa po ‘yong interest rate kasi 6% per annum,” she said. “Puwedeng 24 months to 36 months to pay.”

However, she said, due to limited funding, the program is on a first come, first serve basis. —LBG, GMA News