Over 150 MSMEs apply for DTI CARES restart fund
CORTES, Bohol, June 20 (PIA) — On the last day of filing of loan applications on June 19, over 150 Boholano micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSM) now wait for their loan proposals to be approved that would signal their taking share of the country’s easy loan portfolio to restart their businesses after the corona virus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Through COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) run by the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) attached agency Small Business Corporation (SBCorp), the government opened a billion-peso portfolio to assist COVID-hit small investors, said Veronee Tocmo, DTI Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-aasenso (P3) Coordinator during the recent Kapihan sa PIA.
DTI CARES is an Enterprise Rehabilitation Financing facility under the P3 and would be implemented for MSMEs with at least one year of continuous operation prior to March 2020 and whose businesses suffered drastic reduction in sales due to the COVID-19 scare, said Tocmo.
Micro enterprises with a capitalization of a few pesos to an asset size of not more than P3-M may borrow P10,000 up to P200,000 while small enterprises with asset size of not more than P10-M may borrow a higher loan amount but not to exceed P500,000.
Tocmo, however, said micro and small medium business applying for the loan must have a permanent business address, disqualifying ambulant vendors and other mobile services businesses.
According to the SBCorp, the loan may be used to help the enterprise stabilize or recover from its losses, like updating of loan amortizations for vehicle loans or other fixed asset loans of the business, inventory replacement for damaged perishable stocks, and as a working capital replacement to restart the business.
As an aid to put up restart mechanisms for the MSMes that comprise 90 percent of the country’s economy which was severely disrupted with the anti-COVID measures, the government pegged the DTI CARES loan at zero interest payable in two years and a minimal processing charge.
The loan facility also dangles a six-month grace period on payments, or until such time that the economic crisis has passed.
According to DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez, the P3-ERF facility is part of the economic relief program of the administration of Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte for small businesses further marginalized by the COVID-19 epidemic.
Tocmo said the loan package as enterprise rehabilitation facility is a temporary stimulus for businesses as part of the government’s assistance to micro entrepreneurs during COVID-19 times.
On normal times, the P3 was the usual offer until the government suspended it for the capital boost in the DTI CARES.
DTI started announcing the easy and affordable loan offer in April and started accepting applications, which would only need a valid business registration, mayor’s or barangay permit, government-issued ID of the borrower, and a picture of the business venture.
Since they started accepting loan applications which they in turn forward to the regional office, DTI has since accepted about 150 applications, some of them already approved.
Since the loan portfolio is only for one billion and this is for the whole country, DTI also added that not all loans would get approved.
This is government money and we also would like to get assurances that this goes back, so the government has employed credit investigators and account officers who would take credit background checks on borrowers credibility and capacity to pay, so it is still basically first come-first served for those who are still qualified, Tocmo explained.
DTI has suspended accepting applications when it has saturated the P1-B fund, until the government can find another fund source, Tocmo said. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)