Support to MSMEs highlighted in proposed stimulus package

Several programs were discussed by the Committee on Trade and Industry-- the House Defeat COVID-19 Committee (DCC) Economic Stimulus Package Cluster, and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to aid restart MSME operations in the country.

The Philippine Economic Stimulus Act of 2020 (PESA) bill is a consolidated bill of economic measures proposed by Rep. Joey Salceda and Rep. Stella Quimbo aimed to help the economy recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

In a meeting presided by Rep. Weslie Gatchalian, Chairperson of the House Committee on Trade and Industry, he said that the Php 1.3-T economic package would prioritize keeping businesses open and protecting jobs to help stimulate market activity and help the economy recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

According to Rep. Gatchalian, the Small Business Corporation for MSMEs would be given a total budget of Php 120-B from 2020 to 2021 to provide interest-free loans to MSMEs in order for them to restart or boost operations amidst the pandemic.

Training, upscaling, and re-skilling of workers shall be spearheaded by the DTI to equip businesses to adapt to new norms in business operations such as work from home arrangements, enhanced use of online channels, and the identification of new market trends and practices.

DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said the trade department is in full support of the proposed measures that would deliver relief to families by maintaining the country’s employment levels.

The PESA bill also includes provisions and funding for the Build, Build, Build Program that covers enhanced projects focused on health care, education, and food security.

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