SB Corp. starts accepting COVID-19 loan applications from small firms in GCQ areas

Robie de Guzman   •   May 19, 2020   •   947

MANILA, Philippines – Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) has started accepting loan applications from micro and small enterprises in areas that have transitioned to general community quarantine (GCQ) , the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced Monday.

In a statement, the DTI said the application for the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program for businesses affected by the public health crisis began on May 18.

Under the SB Corp.’s CARES program, micro and small enterprises operating for at least a year prior to March 16 and assets not exceeding P15 million are eligible to apply.

The SB Corporation, an attached agency of the DTI, said the P1 billion loan program will help cushion the economic impact brought about by the pandemic.

Micro enterprises with asset size not exceeding P3 million may borrow an amount ranging from P10,000 to P200,000, while small enterprises with asset size of not more than P15 million may borrow loan amount not exceeding P500,000.

The loan shall be used to help the enterprise stabilize or recover from its losses.

The DTI said that specifically, small businesses may take out loans to keep their loan amortizations up to date for vehicle loans or other fixed asset loans of the business; replacing inventory for damaged perishable stocks; and to acquire working capital replacement to restart the business.

Interest rate shall be at 0.5% per month (discounted basis); and grace period of 6 months on principal payments.

Loan applicants may visit the SB Corporation’s website www.sbgfc.org.ph for the application form and submit the same, with the requirements, to the nearest SB Corporation office or Negosyo Center in areas under GCQ and modified GCQ.

The SB Corp. reminded applicants that strict workplace safety protocols will be observed and walk-in clients will be required to wear face masks and practice social distancing.

CHED prepares guidelines for limited face-to-face classes for health-related courses

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 2, 2020

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is preparing its guidelines for the limited face-to-face classes for health-related courses.

According to CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera III, the said courses which might possibly have limited face-to-face classes are medical courses, Physical Therapy, Nursing, and courses with actual applications needed.

Baka iyon muna kasi hindi ka magiging magaling na doktor o nurse kung hindi ka talaga pupunta sa ospital (That would be it, for now. You won’t be a good doctor or nurse if you don’t go to hospitals),” he said.

De Vera also said schools might implement the limited face-to-face classes by the second semester of the first quarter of 2021 once they passed the inspection. Meanwhile, graduating students with laboratory subjects, and Hotel and Restaurant Management courses will be opened.

“And if indeed the retrofitting is good then we have more confidence that when the second semester comes up in January maybe we can start opening schools slowly,” De Vera added.

The Department of Education (DepEd), on the other hand, said it will leave the decision to President Rodrigo Duterte if face-to-face classes will be allowed for basic education or K to 12 classes. -AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Baguio City suspends night market run due to crowd control lapses

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 2, 2020

The Baguio City government has suspended the operation of the night market after apparent lapses in crowd control.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong already ordered a post-night market assessment to evaluate the incident. The night market was reopened on Tuesday (December 1) as part of the city’s plan to reopen the economy and restore the livelihood of the displaced vendors affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Magalong, however, stressed that reopening businesses should not mean sacrificing the health and safety of the people.

“We must strike a balance between reopening the economy and safeguarding the health and safety of the people. This is our new normal direction,” he said.

City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias and Market superintendent Fernando Ragma Jr. are set to identify weak points and vulnerabilities in the night market area and discuss solutions. AAC

LGU ordinance, kailangan sa pagpasok ng mga menor de edad sa mall – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hinimok ni Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año ang mga lokal na pamahalaan na maglabas ng ordinansa para payagan ang mga menor de edad sa loob ng mga mall sa general community quarantine (GCQ) areas.

Ginawa ni Año ang pahayag kasunod ng rekomendasyon na payagan nang lumabas ang mga menor de edad sa gitna ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Una nang sinabi ng DILG chief na maaaring pumasok sa loob ng mga mall sa GCQ areas ang mga menor de edad na 15 anyos pababa basta’t kasama ang kanilang mga magulang.

Ngunit kailangan aniya itong pagtibayan ng ordinansa, lalo na ng bawat lungsod sa Metro Manila.

“Ito po ay pagtitibayin sa mga ordinansa ng ating mga NCR (National Capital Regions) mayors sa lugar po ng GCQ (General Community Quarantine)” ang wika ni Año.

Paglilinaw naman ni Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, limitado lamang ang aktibidad na maaaring gawin ng mga menor de edad sa loob ng mall gaya ng pagbili ng pagkain at iba pang mahahalagang bagay.

Ayon kay Lopez, ito ay bahagi ng mga hakbang ng pamahalaan upang muling pasiglahin ang ekonomiya na nalugmok sa gitna ng pandemya.

Samantala, sinabi naman ng Philippine National Police (PNP) na hihintayin nila ang ilalabas na ordinansa ng mga lokal na pamahalaan bago nila payagan ang mga menor de edad na makapasok sa loob ng mga mall.

“Kailangan pagtibayin yan ng isang ordinansa. Sa meeting namin ng JTF COVID Shield, pinaghandaan po namin itong recommendation ng mayors sa Metro Manila at kaugnayan din natin si NCRPO director para nga sa pagpapatupad nitong nirecommend nila na tinanggap naman ng IATF at inannounce na nga kagabi,” ang wika ni Lieutenant General Cesar Hawthorne Binag, ang commander ng Joint Task Force COVID Shield.

Hinimok rin ng pulisya ang mga magulang na kung maaari ay huwag nang dalhin sa mall ang mga bata hangga’t nananatili ang banta ng COVID-19.

“Nakikiusap kami na hangga’t kaya dahil wala pa po tayong vaccination e umiwas na lang po muna sana. This is to protect and prevent the disease from spreading further. Siguro kung medyo naturukan na tayo ng vaccine ay that’s the time na pwede na lumabas,” ang pahayag ni National Capital Region Police Office director Brigadier General Vicente Danao Jr.

Sinabi rin ni PNP chief General Debold Sinas na pauuwiin nila ang mga batang magtutungo sa mall habang wala pang inilalabas na ordinansa.

“Hindi namin hulihin at alamin muna ng pulis ang dahilan kung bakit nasa mall na sila at pauwiin natin sila,” ang wika ni Sinas. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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