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To help micro and small enterprises (MSEs) recover from losses due to the pandemic, the Small Business (SB) Corporation has released a total of P22 million of loans under the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program.

SB Corp., the financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), started releasing the CARES loan on July 3.

To date, SB Corp. has approved 2,419 applications with aggregate loan amounting to PHP78.2 million. 

From the total CARES loan beneficiaries, 71 are from Calabarzon Region, 52 from Metro Manila, 46 from Cordillera Administrative Region, 25 from Bicol Region, 22 from Central Visayas, 26 from Eastern Visayas, 18 from Mimaropa Region, 12 from Cagayan Valley Region, seven from Western Visayas, six from Ilocos Region, and one from Caraga Region.

Related: Types of business loans for startups in the Philippines

The DTI has an initial budget of PHP1 billion to roll out the CARES program.

But DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said the total CARES loan applications have reached over PHP2 billion.

“For extra funds needed, we will use our other P3 (Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-Asenso) portfolio fund which is about PHP3.5 billion,” he said.

SB Corp. can also tap state-owned banks Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines to further fund the CARES program, he added.

The DTI launched the CARES program to help MSEs recover from their losses during the lockdown period due to the COVID-19 pandemic

This is part of the government’s goal to save businesses and jobs amid the pandemic.

Related: 5 practical steps to manage your finances during and after crisis

The CARES program provides zero-interest loans of up to PHP500,000.

Source: PNA

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