By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
The Small Business Corporation (SB Corporation) is offering a one-month moratorium on loan payments even as the agency opened a ₱1 billion loan facility for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the month-long lockdown in Luzon to fight the spread of COVID-19.
The moratorium on loan payments covers the period of March 16 to April 14, 2020 to its MSME borrowers and partner financial institu¬tions (PFIs).
“The SB Corporation recognizes the impact of this public health crisis on the economy. This measure is to help our MSME borrow¬ers and PFIs defray their expenses and focus on providing for the needs of their employees and businesses,” SB Corporation President and CEO Ma. Luna C. Ca¬canando explained.
Eligible to apply for the moratorium are SB Corporation MSME borrowers and PFIs situated within the areas declared under community quarantine due to the Covid-19 virus lockdown.
In addition to the one-month loan payment moratorium, borrowers may also request to pay only the interest portion of their monthly payments for the succeeding six months, and to resume their regular monthly payments thereafter. Loan terms may also be extended depending on how the current situation develops.
The SB Corporation, nevertheless, reserves the right to impose a shorter grace period and/or extension of loan term if so merited by business developments particular to each case.
“Rest assured that SB Corporation’s decision on each request shall take into consideration economic realities on the ground,” Cacanando assured.
Eligible borrowers who wish to avail of the moratorium may email or text their respective SB Corporation loan officers and/or field staff or email [email protected]
Meantime, SB Corporation opens P1-billion Enterprise Rehabilitation Financing facility under the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (named Covid19 P3-ERF) to support MSMEs affected and cushion the economic impact of the spread of Covid-19 virus in the country.
The facility will be implemented once the Community Quarantine declaration is lifted by the National Government and/or respective Local Government Units.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez explained that the P3-ERF facility is part of the economic relief program of President Rodrigo Duterte for small businesses greatly affected and further marginalized by the Covid-19 virus epidemic.
The SB Corporation, an agency under the Department of Trade and Industry, said the ERF loan fund is open to micro and small enterprises with at least one year continuous operation prior to March 2020, and whose businesses suffered drastic reduction in sales during the ensuing epidemic.
Micro enterprises with asset size of not more than P3 million may borrow P10,000 up to P200,000 and small enterprises with asset size of not more than P10 million may borrow a higher loan amount but will not exceed P500,000.
The loan shall be used to help the enterprise stabilize or recover from its losses. Specifically, the following purposes are qualified: updating of loan amortizations for vehicle loans or other fixed asset loans of the business; inventory replacement for perishable stocks damaged; and working capital replacement to restart the business.
Interest rate shall be at 0.5 percent per month (discounted basis); and grace period on payments shall be given until such time that the economic crisis has abated.