MANILA – State-owned Philippine Guarantee Corporation (PhilGuarantee) has reached nearly PHP3 billion in financing assistance to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through its credit guarantee facilities, in line with its key assistance role during the pandemic period that started in 2020. 
PhilGuarantee president and chief executive officer Alberto Pascual said the agency’s credit guarantee portfolio for MSMEs registered a remarkable performance since the pilot implementation of the MSME Credit Guarantee Program (MCGP) in December 2020, with an initial portfolio of PHP207 million. 
As of March 10, 2022, he said the cumulative releases on the MCGP are currently at PHP2.950 billion, with MSME beneficiaries now at 20,310 entrepreneurs. 
A total of PHP1.48 billion of these releases were supported by the corporation’s credit guarantee facilities to such groups.
“The growth in the MSME credit guarantee portfolio, with the support of 18 banks in the country, represented more than 13 times or 1,325 percent since December 2020, and this was impacted further by PhilGuarantee in the implementation of its key assistance role,” Pascual said. 
He added that MSME beneficiaries, registered a 589 percent increase, from the initial level of 2,948 in December 2020.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who chairs the PhilGuarantee Governing Board, said “the sizable increase in this state-run corporation’s financing assistance to MSMEs at the height of the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak underlines this administration’s commitment to rescue small entrepreneurs hardest hit by the  global downturn and ensure their swift and strong recovery from the prolonged pandemic.”
“The quick recovery of MSMEs from the global health and economic crises is crucial to the country’s strong rebound at the soonest, considering that they make up 99 percent of all business enterprises and account for nearly 36 percent of the domestic economy,” Dominguez said.
The top beneficiaries of the credit guarantee facilities of the agency belong to the wholesale and retail sector (PHP1.95 billion), manufacturing (PHP230.54 million), transport, storage and communication (PHP172.64 million), community, social and other establishments (PHP140.68 million), agriculture and forestry (PHP130.36 million), and hotels and tourism-related services (PHP114.53 million).
As PhilGuarantee’s credit guarantee programs cater to a nationwide reach, Regions 4-A (Calabarzon), 3 (Central Luzon), 1 (Ilocos) 5 (Bicol), and 10 (Northern Mindanao) comprise the major areas supported by the credit guarantee facilities, with PHP1.66 billion in cumulative releases since December 2020. 
MSMEs belonging to the National Capital Region (NCR) obtained a total of PHP207.65 million in working capital assistance extended by banks, with the support of the agency’s credit guarantee franchise.
In terms of the number of MSME beneficiaries, Pascual added that more than 75 percent (15,308) of the total enterprises are those in the wholesale and retail industry, while the remainder is from the manufacturing (1,685), transport (170), other communities (1,051), agriculture and forestry (271) and hotels and restaurants (1,096).
Since the start of the MCGP at the height of the pandemic in 2020, the PhilGuarantee Governing Board thus far approved a total of PHP37.7 billion in credit guarantee facilities to 34 banks.  
Presently, a total of 48 banks have approved facilities with PhilGuarantee, where 18 are currently actively participating financial institutions, while 28 banks have completed guarantee agreement documentation. 
“The approval of the credit guarantee facilities enabled the availability and accessibility of credit from banks that would have otherwise been reluctant to lend to MSMEs owing to the uncertainties that prevailed with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Pascual said. 
For 2022, PhilGuarantee is projecting an MSME portfolio of PHP4.4 billion, with an additional 8,800 in beneficiary-enterprises. (PR)