DTI Considering To Provide Loan Assistance To MSME’s For Their Worker’s 13th Month Pay
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said earlier on Tuesday that it is planning to offer loans through Small Business Corp. (SBCorp) to SMEs affected by the pandemic to ease them from the burden of providing the 13th-month pay of their workers.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in their conference that it will be similar to what they did last year since there is no reason to defer the 13th month pay for this year as the government stands ready to support businesses amid the pandemic. He added that they have already reached out to SBCorp to develop a facility that will provide zero-interest loans to companies needing 13th-month funding. They have also discussed the matter with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The Trade department supported SMEs through the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CAREs) program last year. The initiative helped these businesses fund their 13th-month pay for their employees. This program was under the Bayanihan Recover As One Act or Bayanihan 2.
Lopez also emphasized the need for the business sector to have a continued reopening of their establishments even during the higher alerts levels 4 and 3. He further explained that the real sustainable solution is the reopening of the economy, which the government has started to implement by allowing more sectors to safely operate at increased capacities.
In his statement he said:
The idea here is that we allow more business continuity and simply adjust operating capacities at different Alert Levels to safely increase mobility.
With the higher vaccination rates now especially in the National Capital Region (NCR) which is at 80%, it is now possible to increase mobility safely. He further expressed that this strategy will also bring better chances of meeting financial obligations as we advance the country’s vaccination rollout and move closer to a New Normal.