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P22M worth of loans released to 286 micro, small businesses

July 10, 2020 - Friday 4:07 PM by PNA

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MANILA – The Small Business (SB) Corp. has released a total of PHP22 million to 286 micro and small enterprises (MSEs) under the Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program as of July 8.

In a statement Friday, of the total CARES loan beneficiaries, 71 are from Calabarzon Region, 52 from Metro Manila, 46 from Cordillera Administrative Region, 25 from Bicol Region, 22 from Central Visayas, 26 from Eastern Visayas, 18 from Mimaropa Region, 12 from Cagayan Valley Region, seven from Western Visayas, six from Ilocos Region, and one from Caraga Region.

SB Corp., the financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), started releasing the CARES loan on July 3.

To date, SB Corp. has approved 2,419 applications with aggregate loan amounting to PHP78.2 million.

The DTI has an initial budget of PHP1 billion to roll out the CARES program.

But DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said the total CARES loan applications have reached over PHP2 billion.

“For extra funds needed, we will use our other P3 (Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-Asenso) portfolio fund which is about PHP3.5 billion,” he said.

SB Corp. can also tap state-owned banks Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines to further fund the CARES program, he added.

The DTI launched the CARES program to help MSEs recover from their losses during the lockdown period due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

This is part of the government’s goal to save businesses and jobs amid the pandemic.

The CARES program provides zero-interest loans of up to PHP500,000.

Meanwhile, the SB Corp. also partnered with the country’s largest business organization, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), for the CARES program.

SB Corp. and PCCI signed a memorandum of agreement that will provide PCCI members easy access to the loan program for MSEs.

“This is a landmark agreement for PCCI as we assist our members in their recovery efforts. We see a bright future in our relations with SB Corp. whose primary mandate is to financially assist the very small enterprises who need the support most,” PCCI President Benedicto Yujuico said.

PCCI has 30,000 member companies in over 120 chapters nationwide. Kris Crismundo

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