Rep. Quimbo says MSMEs need more grants, not loan windows

DTI ROMEO CASTANAGA

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) need more grants than financing, Marikina representative Stella Luz A. Quimbo said, citing latest state auditor’s report showing low take-up of loans offered by the government to help the sector recover from the economic impact. of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I hope that economic officials seriously consider expanding the various subsidy programs for MSMEs, such as the DTI (Ministry of Trade and Industry) Livelihood Seeding Program – Negosyo Serbisyo Sa Barangay” , Ms. Quimbo said in a statement on Friday.

“This is the way to revive small businesses and eventually give them enough confidence to benefit from the expanded loan programs. Subsidies are particularly important today, with the string of oil price hikes,” she said.

The Audit Commission report dated March 2 showed that 4.9 billion pesos, or more than half of the loans from the COVID-19 Business Restart Assistance Program (CARES), remained untapped at the end of June 2021.

Ms. Quimbo said MSMEs are generally lending risk averse while many are in the informal sector or unbanked.

“In the meantime, it would also make sense for GFIs (government financial institutions) to further streamline loan requirements and provide more efficient credit mediation services. Small businesses need to be ‘hands on’ now, so they have the courage to lend,” she said.

MSMEs make up 99.5% of the 957,620 registered establishments in the country, based on 2020 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority. — Emerald Jasper G. Tan

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