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Tuesday, March 24, 2020  SB Corporation offers moratorium on MSME loans

The Small Business Corporation (SB Corporation) is offering a one month moratorium on loan payments covering the period of March 16 to April 14, 2020 to its micro, small and medium (MSME) borrowers and partner financial institutions (PFIs).

“The SB Corporation recognizes the impact of this public health crisis on the economy. This measure is to help our MSME borrowers and PFIs defray their expenses and focus on providing for the needs of their employees and businesses,” SB Corporation President and CEO Ma. Luna C. Cacanando explained.

Eligible to apply for the moratorium are SB Corporation MSME borrowers and PFIs situated within the areas declared under community quarantine due to the Covid-19 virus lockdown.

In addition to the one month loan payment moratorium, borrowers may also request to pay only the interest portion of their monthly payments for the succeeding six months, and to resume their regular monthly payments thereafter. Loan terms may also be extended depending on how the current situation develops.

The SB Corporation, nevertheless, reserves the right to impose a shorter grace period and/or extension of loan term if so merited by business developments particular to each case.

“Rest assured that SB Corporation’s decision on each request shall take into consideration economic realities on the ground,” Cacanando assured.

Eligible borrowers who wish to avail of the moratorium may email or text their respective SB Corporation loan officers and/or field staff or email

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 SB Corporation opens P1B loan facility for MSMEs affected by Covid-19 lockdown

To support micro and small businesses affected and cushion the economic impact of the spread of Covid-19 virus in the country, the Small Business Corporation is setting up a P1 billion Enterprise Rehabilitation Financing facility under the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (named Covid19 P3-ERF).

The facility will be implemented once the Community Quarantine declaration is lifted by the National Government and/or respective Local Government Units.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez explained that the P3-ERF facility is part of the economic relief program of President Rodrigo Duterte for small businesses greatly affected and further marginalized by the Covid-19 virus epidemic.

The SB Corporation, an agency under the Department of Trade and Industry, said the ERF loan fund is open to micro and small enterprises with at least one year continuous operation prior to March 2020, and whose businesses suffered drastic reduction in sales during the ensuing epidemic.

Micro enterprises with asset size of not more than P3 million may borrow P10,000 up to P200,000 and small enterprises with asset size of not more than P10 million may borrow a higher loan amount but will not exceed P500,000

The loan shall be used to help the enterprise stabilize or recover from its losses. Specifically, the following purposes are qualified: 1) Updating of loan amortizations for vehicle loans or other fixed asset loans of the business; 2) Inventory replacement for perishable stocks damaged; and 3) Working capital replacement to restart the business

Interest rate shall be at 0.5% per month (discounted basis); and grace period on payments shall be given until such time that the economic crisis has abated.END

Tuesday, March 24, 2020  Business suppliers can expect normalization of cargo flow this week – DTI Chief

QUEZON CITY – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez told manufacturers, retailers, and distributors of improved implementation of policies and coordination with law enforcers at checkpoints after recognizing the challenges of cargo trucks carrying essential food and non-food materials reportedly being barred at checkpoints due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon.

“We can expect order and normalization in the movement of cargo this week,” Sec. Lopez told reporters during his market monitoring at Unimart Supermarket Greenhills on March 23, 2020.

“While there were initial difficulties during the first two or three days of implementation, improvements have been reported since Friday of last week. The situations have eased up at checkpoints and we have been hearing more positive feedback on the movement of cargoes,” he added.

This comes after the release of DTI Memorandum Circular No. 20-08 last March 20, 2020, which guarantees the unhampered movement of all cargoes and transit of personnel of business establishments allowed to operate during the quarantine period.

While the MC ensures the smooth and unimpeded movement of all cargoes in the Luzon area, when stopped at any checkpoint for random inspection, the cargo manifest or delivery receipt indicating the destination, nature, and quantity of the loaded goods/cargoes must be presented to avoid delays.

DTI is advising all local government units to strictly comply with the guidelines set by the national government. “The unhampered movement of cargo is a national policy and a directive of President Duterte,” said Sec. Lopez.

“Secretary Eduardo Año released a supplemental memorandum and is continuously coordinating with the IATF to ensure proper implementation of this policy,” he added. “We have also talked with BOC to prioritize the processing of basic necessities, especially medical supplies and food,” he said.

Furthermore, the Trade Secretary is confident that there is enough inventory of food, alcohol, and disinfectants in supermarkets. “There is no need to panic buy. We have already talked with the manufacturers and cleared up issues. The movement of cargoes has been addressed so there shouldn’t be any problem with production and shortage,” said Sec. Lopez.

He also advised consumers to be wary of fake news circulating and mindful of the prices of goods. The DTI Consumer Protection Group is closely monitoring the price freeze on basic commodities. Any person or entity found violating the Price Act will be fined between P5,000 and P2 million and face imprisonment between five and 15 years.

Consumers are enjoined to report business establishments that sell beyond the price freeze by calling hotline 1384 or 1-DTI. END

After Presscon interview with Mr Jadjurie H Arasa at DZMJ Online Season 25 Episode 1