BAGUIO CITY, July 3 (PIA) - - Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), whose businesses are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic get a boost from the government through the Pondo Sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso, COVID - 19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (P3 CARES) program being spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry through the Small Business Corporation.
For Cordillera, 109 MSMEs are the initially approved beneficiaries of the P3 CARES, which total loan amount of P3, 947,000 that can use to re-start or re - establish their business undertakings. Six are from Abra, 15 from Apayao, 33 from Benguet, 12 from Ifugao, 20 from Kalinga and 23 from Mountain Province.
A ceremonial signing of loan release was held today where beneficiaries from the different provinces of Cordillera along with those in the National Capital Region had a simultaneous signing activity done via video teleconferencing and witnessed by DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, SBC President and CEO Ma. Luna Cacanando and SBC acting Chairperson and DTI Underscretary Blesila Lantayona.
SBC North Luzon Group Head Arell Banez outlined that the P3 CARES is part of the social amelioration program of the government, which financial assistance for MSMEs are into a form of a loan ranging from P10, 000 to P500, 000 depending on the size of the MSMEs business with zero interest and 6 - month moratorium or payment starts on the 7th month after the release date.
For Northern Luzon, SBC already received around 5,000 applications. For CAR, a total loan of P2, 837,000 for 37 beneficiaries were already approved and released. Banez said they hope to release a total loan amount of P3, 947,000 to 72 beneficiaries within this month.
DTI - Cordillera Regional Director Myrna Pablo expressed gratitude to DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez for enrolling P1B P3 emergency financing fund to the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act. She shared that of the around 25,000 MSMEs in the region that they are monitoring, 90 percent either closed down or downscaled their operation due to the COVID pandemic. So far 1,105 MSMEs in the region already submitted their applications to the program.
With the P3 CARES, Pablo calls on the beneficiaries to grow and nurture with care this new seed capital for them to recover fast and bring their businesses back to where it was before the pandemic happened.
For the beneficiaries' part, Brinalyn Lontoc of Taloy Sur in Tuba, Benguet expressed gratitude to such government program as their family's food processing and "pasalubong" business stopped for two and a half months can now restart through the P20, 000 loan awarded to her.
She said she will use the SBC loan to replace stocked - up food processing equipment and to buy raw materials.
Jefferson Apola of La Trinidad, Benguet, who was awarded with a P75, 000 loan also expressed gratitude to the P3 CARES program saying this will be a big help to re-start his computer rental and snack house business which closed operations for almost four months now. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)