A total of 9,000 loan applications worth P650 million have been granted to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) under the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) Program of SB Corporation, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez reported.
Lopez said they expect the number of borrowers to reach 15,000 for the initial funding of the P1 billion CARES Program. That is why, he said, SB Corp. which is an attached agency of the DTI is now preparing
for another P1 billion fund from Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines.
He also called upon private micro financing institutions to continue lending because they can get some funds from wholesale banks DBP and LBP.
Aside from the current sources of funds, Lopez is also looking at the 2021 budget allocation for the CARES Program. In addition, the DTI has requested for the inclusion of P5 billion allocation under the proposed economic stimulus package being prepared in Congress.
Meantime, Lopez reported that DTI supports the pending bills in Congress seeking to regulate all digital business transactions in the country, including tax requirements and consumer protection issues.
House Bill 6765 or the Digital Economy Taxation Act seeks to slap taxes on all digital platforms and online services. Another bill in Congress seeks to protect consumers from unscrupulous online sellers.
Meantime, Lopez urged government agencies to prioritize local products in purchasing their requirements.
“Especially if we are using taxpayers’ money, we should prioritize local products,” he said adding that by doing so the domestic economy is getting a boost and jobs are created.