SB Corp to process additional 15K small firms’ loan applications by December – DTI

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2020   •   489

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez announced that Small Business Corporation (SB Corp) will process an additional 15,000 loan applications before the year ends to help in the recovery of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“With the improvement in our evaluation and approval system, we are now able to increase our evaluation capacity to around 15,000 in a month. We have facilitated the processing to accommodate more MSMEs affected by the pandemic. We expect to release more loans to help businesses recover, especially as we gradually reopen the economy,” Lopez said in a statement.

Lopez said that since the passage of Republic Act 11469, also known as the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, SB Corp has approved a total of 17,167 loan applications amounting to P1.25 billion through its Bayanihan COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises program. 

SP Corp is the financing arm of the DTI.

At the Senate hearing of the Department’s budget on November 18, budget sponsor Senator Sonny Angara said that the Department of Budget and Management has already released to SB Corp a total of P8 billion of the P10 billion for MSMEs loans pursuant to the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.

It was also clarified during the hearing that the fund has no expiration date since it is for the equity of SB Corp.

“As we gradually reopen our economy, we’ve already seen signs of recovery. 95% of businesses have already reopened as of end-October, coming from 62% last June at the height of the lockdown,” Lopez said. 

“While there are good signs of recovery, we are not yet hitting pre-COVID levels, and understandably so, due to reluctance of some people to go out. In addition, there are still restrictions in some sectors, such as age, in the movement of people and curfew hours,” he added. 

The trade chief noted that hard-hit sectors during the pandemic include tourism, transportation, entertainment, retail, and other non-essential sectors. 

“If we want to accelerate the recovery of our economy, we need to build consumer confidence and save MSMEs from bankruptcy to retain jobs and sources of income. With more income, this means more spending, which will boost demand and economic activity,” Lopez said. 

DTI, nagbabala vs pagbili ng mga iligal at substandard na mga pailaw

Robie de Guzman   •   December 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Muling nagbabala sa publiko ang Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) laban sa pagbili ng holiday lights na walang kaukulang dokumento at product label.

Ginawa ng DTI ang babala matapos mag-inspeksyon sa isang pamilihan sa Quezon City kung saan nakumpiska ang mga pailaw na walang selyo o Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) at Philippine Standard (PS) mark.

May nakita rin ang DTI na mga pailaw na walang maayos na manufacturing label habang ang ilan naman ay nakasulat sa ibang wika.

Ayon kay DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, delikadong gamitin ang mga ganitong produkto lalo’t isa sa mga dahilan ng mga insidente ng sunog kapag holiday season ay ang mga palyadong holiday lights.

Payo ni Castelo sa mga mamimili, siguruhing may PS mark ang bibilhing produkto dahil nangangahulugan itong pasado ang produkto sa standard.

“Hanapin nila yung PS Mark na ini-issue ng Bureau of Philippine Standards para sigurado silang na-test yung produkto bago nila bilhin. Kasi kung hindi iyon na-test, hindi natin alam, pwedeng safe, pwedeng hindi, pero manghuhula ang consumer niyan,” ang pahayag ni Castelo.

Ayon sa DTI, iligal ang holiday lights na walang kaukulang selyo at maaaring maharap sa mabigat parusa ang may-ari ng tindahan kung hindi nito matutukoy ang importer ng mga naturang produkto.

“Penalty maximum under the Consumer Act as a fine is 300,000 pesos. But there’s a concomitant criminal liability na may kulong. And then we can also file a case, kasong violation ng product labelling yon di ba, may Revised Penal Code pa,” ang pahayag ni Castelo. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

DTI opens business program for workers affected by pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   December 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), together with the Philippine Trade Training Center, has virtually launched a program that seeks to provide business mentoring and training for displaced and retrenched workers due to the pandemic.

The program, called Building an Entrepreneurial Society of Tomorrow Bootcamp: Accept, Adapt, and Act (BEST Bootcamp: 3A), conducts an integrated approach using lectures, case studies, business pitching workshop, mentoring, recital, and drillmaster sessions, the DTI said.

“It is designed specifically for employees of MSMEs (micro, small, medium enterprises), private school teachers, and other retrenched workers affected during this pandemic period,” it added.

Aspiring entrepreneurs with an identified passion or hobby that they want to turn into a profitable venture may also join the program.

“This entrepreneurship program is part of DTI’s 7Ms Framework for Successful Entrepreneurship, which covers Mindset, Mastery, Mentoring, Market, Money, Machines, and Models of Negosyo,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement.

The trade chief said the 7Ms are essential components for MSME development, and “will provide our people the needed entrepreneurial skills and knowledge.”

“All participants of the program will gain knowledge on the best practices for a successful entrepreneurship journey, coming from the experiences of our mentors and experts who have specialized in their fields of business,” he added.

Around 75-80 participants will be chosen to undergo the entire mentoring and training program. They will be provided with livelihood kits when they complete the program.

Aside from the 3A Program, DTI’s BEST Bootcamp also offers the Resilience, Recovery, and Rebuild (3R) Program, which focuses on entrepreneurial re-alignment, pivots, and balanced planning in running existing business ventures. 

Interested participants may send a message email BEST@pttc.gov.ph for more details.

DA, DTI open digital farm-to-market system connecting farmers, consumers

Robie de Guzman   •   December 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA), together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has launched a digital marketing system that seeks to directly connect food producers to consumers sans the unnecessary trading layers.

The DA said the system called Deliver-E, which was officially launched on December 14, was conceived in collaboration with private sector partners, farmer cooperatives, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The initiative allows buyers to directly access fresh agricultural products and other basic food items at low prices, eliminating middlemen.

The department said Deliver-E operates through a blockchain technology developed by a Filipino tech startup, Insight Supply Chain Solutions (InsightSCS), that integrates related e-commerce and logistics application services from consolidation point to central warehousing facility, and then to last-mile delivery services to reach end-clients.

“With the sheer size of agricultural supply chains, only a multi-stakeholder approach to their management could free up the bottlenecks,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement.

The system’s launch was highlighted by a multi-stakeholder commitment pledge signing to upscale the agriculture value chain and improve overall food security in the country even beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

“Online is the new byword of food security. We are fully embracing the digitalization of the agriculture sector as we journey towards the 4th Industrial Revolution, or Agriculture 4.0,” Dar said.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, for his part, said the initiative is part of government’s strategy to enable Filipinos to adjust to the new normal.

“Let us try to create a Better Normal where all Filipinos can enjoy the fruits of our country’s inclusive growth and shared prosperity for all,” he said.

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