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Baguio releases first batch of checks for MSMEs’ stimulus package
24 September 2020 – The city government of Baguio started releasing checks for the first batch of approved loans under the economic stimulus package for micro and small enterprises on Tuesday, 22 September 2020.
The city government launched the “Baguio’s Revitalization Actions for a Vibrant Economy-Economic Stimulus Package” (Brave-ESP), a loan facility to mitigate the crippling impact of quarantine measures on local businesses.
The program was conceptualized earlier in April until the City Council approved Ordinance Numbered 75, Series of 2020 for the allotment of Php100 million from the city’s Php150,000,000.00 COVID-19 appropriations fund.
City Budget Officer Leticia Clemente said the City Treasury Office received a total of 260 applications for the BRAVE-ESP as of September 21 but only 64 loan applications have been approved after evaluation by the Small Business Corporation (SBC), an attached agency of DTI sanctioned by the city government to screen, evaluate and recommend the approval of applications based on the guidelines set by the city.
Due to health protocols, only six representatives were called to receive their checks during the ceremonial awarding. Clemente said the other beneficiaries will be contacted by the city to claim their checks at the City Treasury Office in the coming days.
Per 2019 records of the City Permits and Licensing Office, Baguio City has 20,484 micro establishments that contributed a total of P98,111,751 in business taxes to the city; there are 2,074 small establishments that contributed a total of P57,874,270 to the city coffers; there are 438 medium establishments that paid a total of P72,072,771; and 63 large establishments that contributed P53,287,017 in business taxes.
Clemente said micro-small establishments comprise 56 percent of the total business taxes collected by the city last year.
The City identified 9,366 businesses out of 23,059 registered businesses in 2019 that were heavily affected by the declaration of the Enhanced/General Community Quarantine. Most of these establishments are from retail industry, construction, food sector, information and communication technology business, amusement and accommodations among others.
Under the guidelines, all borrowers should be in good financial standing capacity which will be evaluated by the SBC through the Negative File Information System and Credit Checking.
With funds still available, Mayor Benjamin Magalong encourages the MSMEs to file for loan application under the BRAVE-ESP and avail of the financial assistance. – Jessa Samidan