DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez urges all MSMES to avail of the Bayanihan CARES lending fund which has approved P2.35 billion worth of loans to help business recover from the pandemic.

The Bayanihan COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program is being implemented by the DTI’s financing arm, Small Business (SB) Corp.

Republic Act No. 11494 also known as the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” (BAYANIHAN 2) was signed into law by President Duterte in October last year and allocated financial support of up to P10 billion to the CARES program to help mitigate the adverse impact of the pandemic on MSMEs.

Lopez said:

“We encourage all MSMEs across the country in all regions to consider taking the step in reopening or reconfiguring their respective businesses. The features of the Bayanihan CARES loan are intended to allow entrepreneurs to restart their businesses with ample elbow room. There is no need to worry about loan repayments for one year. There is also no need to worry about escalating financing costs."

Here are more details about the loans:

  • MSMEs with Bureau of Internal Revenue-filed financial statements for 2018 or 2019 with no major negative credit track record are assured of a loan under the program.
  • MSME applicants who cannot submit a BIR-filed FS will just submit their barangay or municipal business permits, photos or videos of business assets, and proof of sales for certain loan sizes.
  • Loan amount to be granted will be based on the MSME applicant’s asset size and annual sales. However, additional limits to the loan size will be observed to ensure more MSMEs will benefit from the program.
  • Loans will have a one-time front-end service fee ranging from 4 percent to 8 percent depending on the number of years the applicant will pay.
  • Loan term can be up to four years and grace period up to six months. Certain industries such as tourism can be granted a longer grace period of up to 12 months.

Lopez added:

“We have streamlined the application process and made it online to ensure that more businesses are able to avail of this service. SBCorp completes its evaluation of loan requests within 7 working days, even faster if the documents are complete. Submission of documents such as BIR tax return can fastrack approval."

To ensure the safety of loan applicants and compliance with quarantine restrictions, SBCorp has adopted a completely online loan application and evaluation process, except for occasional phone verifications. The loan releasing process has likewise shifted online, unless physical signing is preferred and requested by the approved loan applicant.

According to the Manila Bulletin, as of February 9, SBCorp has already approved a total of 21,659 loan applications under the Bayanihan COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program to provide MSMEs with urgent relief needed to recover from the worst effects of the pandemic. According to SBCorp President and CEO Ma. Luna E. Cacanando, these loans equivalent approved loan amount of P2.35 billion.

Interested business owners may submit their loan requests through www.BayanihanCARES.ph.

Applicants may also contact the CARES Hotline at 8651-3333, and at 1-800-10-651-3333 (nationwide toll-free) for inquiries.