DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez

MANILA – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said its financing arm, Small Business (SB) Corp., has accelerated the process to apply and approve loans under the Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program.
 
In a statement Wednesday, Lopez said SB Corp. has streamlined the application processes for micro, small and medium enterprises that would like to avail the zero-interest CARES loan.
 
He added SB Corp. has already adopted a complete online application and evaluation process, which includes the use of electronic signature.
 
Upon approval, releasing of loans also shifted to digital transactions.
 
Lopez added DTI’s financing arm can complete loan evaluation within seven days, or even faster if the documents are complete.
 
“There is currently no backlog on its loan evaluation work contrary to what other reports say. We are even promoting the program to more MSMEs applicants,” the DTI chief said.
 
SB Corp. president and chief executive Ma. Luna Cacanando said her office has approved 21,659 CARES applications amounting to PHP2.35 billion in loans as of Feb. 9.
 
Last week, SB Corp. said it approved some PHP2.27 billion worth of loans from 21,358 applicants.
 
About PHP2 billion in loans from 19,601 applicants were released as of Feb. 2, the DTI’s financing arm said.
 
“We encourage all MSMEs across the country in all regions to consider taking the step in reopening or reconfiguring your respective businesses.The features of the Bayanihan CARES loan are intended to allow entrepreneurs to restart their businesses with ample elbow room. There is no need to worry about loan repayments for one year. There is also no need to worry about escalating financing costs," Lopez said.
 
CARES program is an interest-free and collateral-free loan offered to MSMEs, cooperatives, and tourism businesses that have been in operation for one year.
 
It also provides loan assistance to overseas Filipino workers who were displaced due to the global health and economic crisis. (PNA)