Gov't eyes stimulus package of up to P80 billion for MSMEs
The Philippine government is eyeing up to P80 billion stimulus package to assist micro, small and medium enterprises, which have been greatly affected by the lockdown due to coronavirus disease pandemic.
In a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, which was aired on Tuesday night, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the stimulus package is on top of the P1 billion micro-financing for the MSMES that the government will provide following the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and other places in the country.
He said the micro-financing will have a 0.5 percent interest rate per month.
"So, it's (interest rate) just low and there will be a grace period of six months before (the borrowers) will start to pay," Lopez said, adding that the requirements will be simple.
"Now, aside from that P1 billion, we are working another budget so that this amount can be increased because P1 billion is much smaller compared to the number of MSMEs, which are in need," he said.
"So, in the economic stimulus package that is now being prepared in Congress, there are proposals there to add more billions, may be P30 billion to P80 billion for the micro SMEs," the Department of Trade and Industry chief explained.
He expressed hope that the budget would entail zero interest for the borrowers.
He said the DTI also talked with the Department of Finance and state-run Land Bank of the Philippines so that the small business corporation could lend from them to fund the MSMEs.
Metro Manila and other nearby provinces, which used to be under the ECQ, has shifted to modified ECQ starting May 16.
Most parts of the country are now under the general community quarantine.
The areas under modified ECQ and GCQ have been allowed to gradually open up their economy through the resumption of operations of some businesses. Celerina Monte/DMS