ARTA bats for faster micro loan processing at SBCorp

Published July 6, 2021, 4:42 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Anti Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is looking into fast tracking the processing and release of micro enterprises loans with the Small Business Corp. (SB Corp), the government’s micro-lending arm.

This developed following a discussion spearheaded by ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), which raised the complaints of its MSME members over slow processing of applications and release of their loans with the SB Corp. PCCI is an ART champion.

Anti Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director General Jeremiah Belgica

During the meeting, PCCI cited the processes at SBCorp that have been slowing down the application and release of loans of micro firms. SBCorp has been allocated P10 billion for MSMEs under the Bayanihan Act 2. Of this figure, P4 billion funds have been set aside for non-tourism establishments and the bulk of P6 billion for tourism enterprises.

During the meeting, Belgica has cited some ways to help facilitate the processes.

The ARTA chief vowed to sum up the points for back to back meetings.

ARTA will further come up with a report for the ongoing hearing by the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on business and ways to help the economy recovery.

Meantime, SBCorp and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) have forged a partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a collaborative approach between the financing programs of both institutions to further facilitate the recovery and sustainable growth of MSMEs.

Through marketing segmentation and strategic client referral process, the DBP’s MSME Recovery Program and SBCorp’s COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) Program, which are both designed to accelerate the recovery of MSMEs, will complement for the purpose of providing a more efficient assistance to their target beneficiaries.

These collaborative strategies will be implemented by reciprocally identifying the institutions’ market segments and designing a two-way client referral process which will be based on the asset size of the enterprises pursuant to the individual mandate of the institutions and existing lending guidelines.

In a statement, DBP President and CEO Emmanuel G. Herbosa said the partnership will serve as a response of the DBP to the needs of their clients with nominal loan requirements and insufficient documentation. “Through this memorandum of understanding, we vow to get our act together to make sure that our programs work to serve the best interest of our target beneficiaries in a more effective and efficient way,” he added.

On the other hand, SBCorp President and CEO Ma. Luna Cacanando affirmed that the DBP’s MSME Recovery Program is a complementary facility to the CARES Program as both programs offer similar low financing cost features, longer repayment terms and grace period, and collateral-free loan for amounts not exceeding PhP 3.0 million. “The synergies that this partnership will produce will not only be mutually beneficial to our respective institution, but will ultimately go a long way in helping our MSMEs restart and rebrand their businesses,” PCEO Cacanando further said.

DBP Senior Vice President Paul D. Lazaro and SBCorp Executive Vice President Santiago Lim also shared their optimism on the potential of the collaboration.

The program interventions developed by the institutions for the MSMEs are pursuant to the enactment of the Republic Act No. 11494 otherwise known as the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (BARO) which ought to bolster the resiliency of the Philippine economy.

“We must build stronger alliances, not only to ensure the success of our corporate goals but to achieve the collective aspirations of our nation to help our MSMEs survive and ultimately recover from the economic challenges brought about by the national health emergency confronting the country in the past 15 months,” PCEO Cacanando added.

 
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