“MSME Pandemic Lending Funds Fully Utilized by End of 2021”

MANILA, Philippines — Funds uploaded by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to the Small Business Corp. to lend to multi-sector micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have been fully utilized as of the end of 2021, according to SBCorp, an agency attached to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Luna Cacanando, President and CEO of SBCorp, explained: “Of the loan funds of 7.93 billion pesos granted by the Bayanihan 2 law to SBCorp for MSMEs, 4 billion pesos have been reserved for loans related to travel and tourism, and the rest, 3.93 billion pesos. has been used to lend to multi-sector MSMEs or businesses in trade, manufacturing, services, agriculture and other sectors.

As of Feb. 28, SBCorp had approved a total of 5.9 billion pesos for these multi-sector MSMEs, far exceeding the planned 3.93 billion pesos of funds for business types, or 150%. Cacanando added that the additional funding came internally from SBCorp funds just to be able to continue the lending momentum during the pandemic.

She pointed out, “In fact, SBCorp lent more to these MSMEs than what was allowed by the Bayanihan 2 law and downloaded by DBM.”

Bayanihan Law 2 ordered a capital injection to SBCorp of 10 billion pesos as the government’s response to the need for financial assistance to MSMEs affected by the series of extended shutdowns and enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) since March 2020.

However, only 8.08 billion pesos were released by the DBM to SBCorp which was uploaded in November 2020, of which 7.93 billion pesos were loan funds, the rest being earmarked for mobilization and operating expenses. .

The Tourism Business Loan Program or CARES for TRAVEL is administered by SBCorp in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism.

Excess funds came from SBCorp from annual funds provided by Congress for the P3 program, a micro-finance program intended by the government to replace usurious money lending. In addition, with DOT’s approval, a portion of funds earmarked for the tourism sector was temporarily used to lend to multi-industry MSMEs, as loan acceptance for tourism was very slow.

Cacanando added, “The travel and tourism sector has lagged behind multi-sector MSMEs in government lending due to the effects of the prolonged lockdown in the tourism sector. Acceptance of loans from tourist establishments has been very slow due to the series of closures and the general uncertainty that has governed the sector for the past two years.

As of February 28, only 278 million pesos in loans to the tourism sector had been approved by SBCorp, although up to 524 million pesos are currently being processed.

She added: “We expect an increase in loan applications from the travel and tourism sector as the country on March 1st lifted restrictions on most inter-zonal domestic travel and quarantine requirements for international travelers. vaccinated. Additionally, the scope of the CARES for TRAVEL program has been expanded to include non-DOT accredited tourism businesses such as tourism support services and facilities. Finally, the destruction wrought by Typhoon Odette in key tourist areas of the country has increased demand for CARES loans for tourism and travel.

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