TACLOBAN CITY – The Small Business Corporation (SBC) reported a total of P200 million loan applications from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Visayas regions displaced by super typhoon Yolanda.
SBC president and chief operations officer Ma. Luna Cacanando said they expect to complete the release of initial loan applications to SMEs in the next three months.
The state-run corporation, the lending arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), said that 34 borrowers have already received loans in northern Cebu and several areas in Tacloban City, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Samar and Eastern Samar.
“We have now processed applications of 135 borrowers with a total loan application of about P200 million. Every other week, we sent teams in affected areas to process about 15 to 20 applications,” Cacanando said.
The SBC offers special loans to displaced businessmen with one year grace period and an interest rate of 5% to 6%, lower than the 10% to 12% interest for regular financing program.
“Our goal is to help more SMEs, but we are encouraging the banking sector to start lending. They need to have strategy on how to help affected businessmen considering the scale of destruction in several areas,” she added.
Recently, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo led the release of checks to 13 Yolanda-displaced SMEs in Eastern Visayas amounting to P8.9 million.
“Providing loans will definitely help. It will have multiplier effect since businesses that will resume operation would hire workers and need supplies. The effect is symbiotic,” Domingo told reporters.
The beneficiaries are engaged in businesses like healthcare, vehicle and parts, soft drinks distribution, printing, grocery shop, food processing, motorcycle and bicycle parts, pharmacy, farm machineries, scrap metal, construction supplies trade, lumber, meat shop, and hardware.
“We pulled out budget from our existing programs to provide loans to affected SMEs. We are proposing additional budget in the form of support to SBC operation to serve more entrepreneurs,” Domingo said.
One of the recipients was Gimine Ann Pacanan, 35, whose family owns a grocery shop, pharmacy, and franchise of three Monterey Meat shop branches in Tacloban.
“The loan is a big help for us to restart the meat shop business. We still have to decide whether to reopen our grocery shop and pharmacy because it will need more capital,” Pacanan said.
Her family has been into retail business for 17 years. They decided to shutdown their shops after losing about P10 million from storm surge and looting incidents. They had 30 workers.
The DTI said that about 50,000 SMEs were affected by the destructive typhoon in the three Visayas regions.
By: SARWELL Q.MENIANO