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DTI approves P4.5 billion in loans to MSMEs

The Department of Trade and Industry said that P4.5 billion worth of loans to micro, small, and medium enterprises were approved under the Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises program, as of June 9.

In a statement, the DTI said the P4.5-billion in loans assisted 30,408 MSMEs that applied under its zero-interest loan.

The DTI, through its financing arm Small Business Corp., rolled out the Cares program in May 2020 to assist MSMEs to recover from their losses due to the pandemic and the lockdown measures.

The DTI started the Cares program with P1 billion from its 2020 budget and got another P10 billion from the Bayanihan to Recover as One.

Of the P10 billion from the Bayanihan 2, P6 billion had been allocated for MSMEs in the tourism sector that are heavily affected by the ongoing global health and economic crisis.

The DTI has until the end of the month to roll out the remaining budget for its micro-financing program as the Bayanihan 2 is only effective until June 30, the statement said.

To accelerate the remaining allocation, the DTI is working with the Department of Tourism for the Cares for Travel, or Tourism Rehabilitation and Vitalization of Enterprises and Livelihood.

The DTI and DOT will accelerate the utilization of Cares for Travel as more tourism economic activities start to resume their operations.

“With this microfinancing program providing collateral-free and interest-free loans to businesses affected by the pandemic, our MSMEs can begin to rebuild their respective businesses and take part in the recovery that has started around the world,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

Lopez is also optimistic of the start of the vaccination for the A4 group that includes economic frontliners, as this will boost consumer and business confidence.

“The country’s vaccination program will prove to be a timely shot in the arm as well for the economy, as it will lead to continuous reopening with less threat of a surge, thus creating a good momentum for sustained recovery, more investments, and greater employment opportunities for the Filipinos,” he added.*

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