The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its financing arm, the Small Business Corp., (SBCorp) has approved more than P3 billion in loans under the Bayanihan Covid-19 (coronavirus Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez in a Viber message to reporters said total loans approved under the program amounted to P3.38 billion. This is equivalent to 25,920 borrowers.
Lopez said that total loans released reached P2.78 billion, benefitting 23,141 borrowers.
Under the Republic Act 11494 or the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” (Bayanihan 2), financial support amounting to P10 billion is allotted to the CARES program to help mitigate the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on MSMEs.
Loans from the Bayanihan CARES Program are interest-free, collateral-free, and are available to MSMEs, cooperatives, hospitals and tourism businesses that have been in operation for at least one year.
Repatriated or returning overseas Filipinos who wish to engage in start-up business may also apply for a loan under the program after some training.
“The loan take up has already improved from 200 applications a week at the start, to 1,000 a week. But we were expecting more applications than these numbers. We have increased our processing capacity to about 4,000 applications per week,” said Lopez.
“We should continue with this microlending program because there are still many takers, still in need of working capital loans to save their operations and jobs,” he added.