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Solons grill SB Corp for sluggish MSME loan process



Lawmakers on Wednesday grilled Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.), a financing arm under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the alleged slow processing of loans to qualified micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).

During the meeting of the House Committee on Micro and Medium Enterprises Development on Wednesday, SB Corp Group Head Frank Gonzaga said as of 8 June, the agency has released so far 12 loan applications amounting to P1.22 million out of the 7,333 applications it received.

Gonzaga also told the panel that out of the 7,333 applications 4,198 have completed their requirements and of this number, SB Corp has approved only 287 loan applications.

The agency started accepting applications for the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program which aims to help the small businesses stabilize or recover from its losses on 18 May.

House Committee on MSME Development Chairperson Virgilio Lacson asked the agency to look into the discrepancies as to the implementation of the program to address delays in disbursement.

Lacson stressed the importance of releasing the loan immediately as he stressed that the economy is now opening up and MSMEs need assistance as they were hit by the pandemic.

1-PACMAN Rep. Enrico Pineda, on the other hand, noted that the processing of applications had been slow considering only 287 applications have been approved out of the 4,198 applications.

Under the program, micro enterprises with asset size of not more than P3 million may borrow from P10,000 to P200,000 while small enterprises with an asset size of not more than P15 million may borrow a maximum of P500,000.