Philippines

Rep. Villar urges Filipinos to buy local; support MSMEs

Las Piñas Lone Rep. Camille Villar

Las Piñas Lone District Representative Camille Villar called on Filipino consumers to buy local and support small businesses as she urged the government to simplify loan procedures aimed at helping micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) at this time of the Covid-19 health crisis.

In the virtual meeting of the House Committee on MSME Development about existing credit and loan facilities, she emphasized the crucial role of agencies such as the Small Business Corp. (SB Corp.), the financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry, in assisting entrepreneurs.

“The role of SB Corp. is very important in jumpstarting our economy because more than 95 percent of businesses in the Philippines are MSMEs, so, we really need to help them. I believe they are the most affected,” said Villar, vice chairman of the House panel.

She suggested that SB Corp., along with LandBank and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), should disseminate information to the local level and lessen documentary requirements for MSMEs to avail of the loan facility.

Large-scale community quarantines brought by the pandemic drove a sharp fall in consumer and business spending and affected small businesses and forced some to shut down.

SB Corp. has announced that it will open a loan facility called the Enterprise Rehabilitation Financing-Pondo para sa Pagbabago at Pag-Asenso to affected MSMEs. Firms with asset size of not more than P3 million may borrow between P10,000 and P200,000 while those with assets of up to P10 million may borrow up to P500,000.

Villar pointed out that small entrepreneurs deserve the help they needed as they do not have the means to survive during these trying times but the aid will keep the sector afloat and help retain their workforce.

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