The application for working capital loans with the Small Business Guarantee Corporation (SB Corp.) to aid tourism enterprises remains low, the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) said on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
Jose Clemente III, TCP president, told the Manila Bulletin that only 426 tourism Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have applied for the loan program, with 160 establishments having completed the requirements. The said figures only cover about P100 million out of the P6 billion allocated funding for working capital loans to the tourism sector under the Bayanihan To Heal as One Act or Bayanihan 2.
Clemente said there is a need to further disseminate the program to encourage more tourism enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to apply.
“We’re going to do another information drive in the regions to further disseminate the program. I also think that as people hear news of companies having approved loans, more will avail of it,” he said.
The TCP has already organized a webinar to help increase the awareness of tourism MSMEs with regard to the program. Associations have also posted mechanics on how to avail of the loan.
“We will do another series of regional webinars to further inform the stakeholders,” he added.
On Oct. 12, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that seeks to disburse the P6 billion budget allocated to the SB Corp’s COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises for Tourism Rehabilitation and Vitalization of Enterprises and Livelihood (CARES for TRAVEL) program under the Bayanihan 2.
Under the said program, tourism MSMEs will have access to zero interest, no-collateral loans with a loan term period of up to four years, including a corresponding grace period of up to one year. The borrower MSMEs will only need to pay a one-time service fee to the SB Corp., the amount of which will depend on the loan term period: 4 percent for one year, 6 percent for two years, 7.5 percent for three years, and 8 percent for four years.
SB Corp. will evaluate and process all loan applications of DOT-accredited MSMEs and local government (LGU)-accredited small-scale tourism-oriented enterprises to ensure their eligibility, and will determine the loanable amount and terms in accordance with the CARES for TRAVEL program guidelines.
According to SB Corp., MSMEs with financial statements (FS) for 2018 or 2019 filed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and have no unresolved negative credit dealings are automatically eligible to apply for a loan under the program.
The initial loan amount to be granted to MSME applicants will be based on the submitted BIR-filed FS: not more than P1 million for medium enterprises, not more than P500,000 for small enterprises, and not more than P200,000 for micro-enterprises. Applications for a higher loan may be approved by SB Corp. provided that enterprises submit their written plan on how to restart or improve their business models.
Meanwhile, SB Corp. will include additional requirements for MSMEs without BIR-filed FS, which include a 2019 Mayor’s Business Permit for loan requests exceeding P50,000, and a 2019 Barangay Business Permit for loans less than P50,000. Likewise, enterprises must submit pictures and videos of inventories, equipment, and assets to SB Corp and must have no major unresolved negative credit dealings.
Tourism enterprises may access the SB Corp.’s CARES Bayanihan 2 Borrower Registration System at https://brs.sbgfc.org.ph.