Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said his department is asking the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Land Bank of the Philippines to earmark PHP30 billion to fund a low-interest loan program for entrepreneurs.
During the Laging Handa public briefing, Lopez said the program aims to help entrepreneurs get back to their businesses once the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is lifted.
“We have this extra program in getting more funds for entrepreneurs themselves, not only the workers, lending them the working capital,” he said in Filipino.
Lopez clarified that this lending program would be for existing businesses.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) earlier allotted PHP1 billion under its Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso or the P3 Program to offer PHP10,000 up to PHP200,000 low-interest loans to micro and small entrepreneurs.
He said the P3 Program and the planned PHP30-billion lending activities with DBP and LandBank would be rolled out once the ECQ is lifted since these programs would require inspection of businesses.
“We can’t do it now because we are under ECQ. So we will start this once ECQ is lifted. But we are prepared to roll out this program,” Lopez added.
By May 1, the ECQ will be eased in some parts of the country except Metro Manila, Central Luzon excluding Aurora, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, Benguet, Baguio City, Iloilo, Cebu, Cebu City, and Davao City.