In November 2013, about 50,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) were severely displaced by Super Typhoon Yolanda, according to data obtained from the DTI regional offices. Up until today, life is still far from normal for the victims of the devastation. In fact, there seems to be no let-up in criticisms about the way government has been slow in coming to the rescue because of politics. And while that may be partially true, here is a fact. Small Business Corporation (SB Corp), the financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its Enterprise Rehabilitation Financing Program (ERFP), has been able to aid the economic recovery of MSMEs badly hit by the super typhoon. ERFP is a P700-million peso loan program supported by a P100-million credit risk support fund.
Under the ERF Program, MSMEs can borrow from P200, 000 to P5 million at 5 percent to 6 percent percent interest rate per annum payable in five years with one year grace period on both principal and interest payments. ERFP also offers easy repayment, tapered in the first few years and increasing in the remaining years, so as to align with the recovery of the market. In addition, there is minimal documentary requirements although loan releasing is on a tranche basis and highly-supervised.
Residents of Bantayan Island in Cebu whose main sources of livelihood are from poultry and tourism were among the first loan beneficiaries. These loan beneficiaries shared their experiences with typhoon-hit entrepreneurs and narrated how DTI, through SB Corp, made it easy for them to start life anew.
Dubbed as the “Egg Basket” of the Visayas, Bantayan Island used to produce 1.3 million eggs a day but 75 percent of their production was lost after the typhoon. To date, 60 percent of the small poultry growers in the Island have been assisted by the ERFP. Antonio Ducay, his namesake son and his son-in-law Joseph Alan Pastoral of Nene Thelia Poultry Farm were among the first beneficiaries who availed themselves of the loan from SB Corp. Eight tourism operators in Bantayan Island were also provided assistance. Among the resorts that were restored and are now in full operation include Manuel Doblados of MAIA’s Beach Resort, Agnes Gilbuena of Mabuhay Balikbayan Restaurant, and Reynaldo Hubahib of Kota Beach.
Tindog is a Cebuano and Waray word meaning “to rise up.” It is also the title of a documentary featuring the stories of MSME beneficiaries from Tacloban City and Samar province, two of the most badly-hit places by Yolanda.
Businesses like Kamiseta ni Julio of Julio Lozada and M. Espinosa Junk Shop of Michael Espinosa, both located in Tacloban, saw the opportunity in adversity.
The “Tindog Tacloban” (Tacloban, rise up!) shirt became a best seller for Mr. Lozada while the junk shop of Mr. Espinosa reopened to provide jobs for his old workers.
DTI-8 Regional Director Cynthia Nierras says the affected entrepreneurs in Tacloban are glad that a program such as ERFP exists while highlighting the recovery of the industry in Basay thru this financing program. Ms. Delza Morales of Delza’s Arts and Crafts is just one of the happy banig makers who benefited from SB Corp. Other borrowers from Samar are the 80-year old Caridad Abrera-Sison’s Imaculate Concepcion School of Guiuan which served as an evacuation center at the height of the typhoon where many of its structures are still heavily damaged. Husband-and-wife Dr. Gil and Dr. Socorro Ponferrada of Ponferrada Polymedic Hospital meantime, took of a P5 Million peso loan for reconstruction without much ado.
As of July 31, 2014, SB Corp. has received 397 loan applications totalling P638.3 Million pesos from regions of Western, Central and Eastern Visayas and MIMAROPA. Two hundred forty five of these applications amounting to P301.3 million have been approved. By end of the year, the ERFP is expected to be a P700-million portfolio. What a great way to celebrate SB Corp’s 23 years of excellence in public service. Congratulations to SB Corp OIC President Ms. Ma. Luna Cacanando and her team of professionals.
For the latest updates on ERFP and for the full length of the video documentary, you may visit the website at www.sbgfc.org.ph
God is Great!