Angara to DTI: Make access to credit faster and easier for MSMEs to speed up recovery

Angara to DTI: Make access to credit faster and easier for MSMEs to speed up recovery

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Sonny Angara today urged the Department of Trade
and Industry (DTI) to help the micro, small and medium enterprises
(MSMEs) in recovering from the impacts of the pandemic by making it
easier for them to access credit.

Angara, who is Chairman of the Committee on Finance, noted how many
MSMEs, especially the micro and small, have trouble dealing with banks
when it comes to securing loans for their operations.

The Senator said banks demand a lot of requirements from its
borrowers, something which very small businesses cannot comply with
due to the nature of their operations.

“Marami tayong mga kababayan na maliliit lang ang kinikita tulad ng
pagbebenta ng fish ball o ng taho. Tulad ng mga mas malaking mga
negosyo, kailangan din nila ng tulong sa panahon na ito dahil
kadalasan ay hindi sapat ang kinikita nila para mabayaran ang lahat ng
mga gastusin nila sa pang araw-araw,” Angara said.

“They need all the help they can get especially from government.
Kumikita sila ng kaunti pero hindi sapat ito para mabayaran ang
kanilang mga bills tulad ng sa kuryente at sa tubig,” Angara added.

During the hearing on the proposed 2022 budget of the DTI, Angara said
that credit facilities such as those offered by the Small Business
Corporation (SBCorp) can go a long way in helping MSMEs get through
the current pandemic through its low-interest loans.

Angara suggested that the DTI, which has supervision over the SBCorp,
to make it easier for micro and small businesses to secure loans by
reducing the requirements, especially if the amounts they are seeking
are very small.

“Let’s make it easy. Look into providing an express lane or less
requirements for loans below a certain amount. Diba sa grocery kapag
10 items or less mas maiksi ang pila, may express lane. Baka pwedeng
ganoon ang gawin. Kapag ang inaaapply na loan is P20,000 pababa wag na
natin bigyan ng napakaraming requirements. Baka the cost of
enforcement and administration is even higher than the loan itself,”
Angara said.

The same goes for the transport sector, which Angara noted has been
among the hardest hit during the pandemic, who have aired their
difficulties in securing loans from banks, including those owned by
the State.
“Tulad ng mga nagbebenta ng fish ball o taho, wala naman silang mga
financial statements o di kaya e balance sheets para isumite sa mga
bangko bilang requirements,” Angara said.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez assured the Committee that the process is
easier for small businesses, particularly those belonging to the
informal sector.

In many cases, Lopez said what is required from them is only proof of
their operations, such as the so-called parking fees or other
documents that they secure from their barangays.

The DTI also indicated that businesses from the informal sector that
need very small amounts could avail of their livelihood support
package that carries no interest at all.

Under the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises Program or CARES
of the SBCorp, a total of P8 billion has been released out of the
Bayanihan 2 funds.

Out of the P8 billion, P4 billion was allocated for the MSMEs while
the balance of P4 billion was for the tourism sector.

For the MSMEs, the DTI disclosed that P5.5 billion in low-interest
loans have been provided to 34,926 applicants.

Lopez explained the excess of P1.5 billion was sourced from the funds
allocated for the CARES for Tourism Rehabilitation and Vitalization of
Enterprises and Livelihood (CARES for TRAVEL) sector since its
utilization was very low at a mere P225 million. (ai/mtvn)

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