THE SMALL Business Corp. (SBCorp.), has approved P8.20 billion worth of loans for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“(As of December), P8.20 billion worth of loans have been approved to 50,003 MSMEs under the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) Program and for SBCorp.’s other lending programs targeted to assist MSMEs adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which controls SBCorp., said in a statement over the weekend.
“Given this, SBCorp. has in fact exceeded the P8.08 billion in funds downloaded to it under the Bayanihan II Act,” it added.
According to the DTI, the Bayanihan II Act provided a P10-billion capital infusion to SBCorp. to help finance pandemic-affected MSMEs. However, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) only released P8.08 billion, of which P7.93 billion consisted of loanable funds. The remainder was meant to cover mobilization and operating expenses.
“Of the P7.93 billion in loan funds, P4 billion was set aside for travel and tourism-related loans. The remaining P3.93 billion (was to be lent to) multi-sectoral MSMEs or businesses in the trading, manufacturing, services, agriculture, and other sectors,” the DTI said.
SBCorp., in partnership with Department of Tourism, also has a loan program for tourism enterprises known as CARES for Travel.
As of Nov. 30, SBCorp. has disbursed P329 million worth of loans to 735 tourism enterprises.
“Unfortunately, uptake of tourism loans was and remains sluggish. As of December 2022, only the amount allotted for tourism MSMEs remains from the original DBM disbursement. Most established tourism related enterprises acquire loans from banks as they require bigger amounts,” the DTI said.
“SBCorp. looks forward to disbursing funds previously set aside for tourism MSMEs to multisectoral MSMES starting January 2023. It is worth noting that tourism MSMEs and other tourism-related establishments may still avail of loans under the terms for multisectoral MSMEs beginning January 2023,” it added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave