SBCorp loans to MSMEs exceed DBM allocation 

Published December 11, 2022, 12:25 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Loans granted by the Small Business Corporation’s (SBCorp) to pandemic-affected micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as of Dec. 2 this year reached P8.2 billion, exceeding the P8.08 billion transferred or downloaded to it by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) based on Bayanihan 2 Act.

In a statement, SBCorp said the P8.20 billion worth of loans have been approved to 50,003 MSMEs under the CARES Program and for SBCorp’s other lending programs targeted to assist MSMEs adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The micro-financing agency attached with the Department of Trade and Industry noted it has already exceeded the P8.08 billion in funds downloaded to it under the Bayanihan 2 Act.

As part of the government’s response to assist in the financing of MSMEs affected by COVID-19 and its economic impacts, the Bayanihan 2 Act warranted a capital infusion to SBCorp worth P10 billion.

However, only P8.08 billion was released by DBM, which was downloaded in November 2020. Out of which, P7.93 billion were loan funds, the rest were allotted for mobilization and operating expenses.

Of the P7.93 billion loan funds, P4 billion were set aside for travel and tourism related loans, the remaining P3.93 billion were used for lending to multi-sectoral MSMEs or businesses in the trading, manufacturing, services, agriculture, and other sectors.

In the tourism sector, SBCorp in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT) also implemented a loan program for tourism enterprises also known as the CARES for TRAVEL. Unfortunately, SBCorp said that uptake of tourism loans remained sluggish.

As of December 2022, only the amount allotted for tourism MSMEs from the original DBM disbursement has remained with SBCorp. As of 30 November 2022, only P329 million worth of loans of P4 billion loan allocation to this sector to 735 tourism enterprises have been released by the Corporation.

The agency attributed the slow take up to more established tourism related enterprises acquiring loan from banks as they require bigger amounts.

SBCorp looks forward to disbursing funds previously set aside for tourism MSMEs to multisectoral MSMES starting January 2023.

Also, tourism MSMEs and other tourism-related establishments may still avail of loans under the terms for multisectoral MSMEs beginning January 2023.