The COVID-19 pandemic has forced 26% of businesses in the country to stop operations. Some even permanently closed their doors to customers. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Small Business Corp. (SBC) launched the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) Program. SBC Cares Program aims to help entrepreneurs get back on their feet. CARES offers DTI loans of up to PHP 500,000, and is part DTI’s Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-Asenso also known as P3 Program, first launched in 2017.
The P3 and CARES programs are quite similar. However, CARES Program specifically accommodates entrepreneurs whose businesses were affected by the lockdown. Keep on reading to know more about these types of DTI loans and if you should apply for the CARES or P3 program.
DTI launched the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-Asenso or P3 program in 2017, starting with a PHP 1 billion budget. The program aims to discourage underprivileged business owners from borrowing money from loan sharks. DTI partnered with SBC to lend loans from customers from the country’s top 30 poorest provinces. More than 250 microfinancing institutions (MFIs) are accredited by SBC to assist in the distribution of the P3 funds to micro, small, and business owners.
How much can I loan from the P3 Program?
You can borrow DTI loans amounting from PHP 5,000 to PHP 200,000 with an interest rate of 1.5%. There is also no service charge for the loan process. SBC partnered with over 250 MFIs nationwide to accommodate business owners wanting to avail of the P3 loan.
P3 Program Qualifications and Requirements
To apply for a DTI loan through the P3 program, you must fulfill the following eligibility and requirements:
A self-employed or micro-entrepreneur with a legitimate business running for at least one year
Have a government-issued ID
Must have a Barangay Clearance issued in the past three months
Have proof of micro-enterprise activity for at least one year
Proof of one-year residence
Accomplished DTI P3 loan application form
DTI Business name registration for loans over PHP 50,000
You can apply for the DTI P3 program online or through a designated SBC office or DTI Negosyo Center. Just follow these simple steps:
Visit the official Small Business Corporation website (www.sbgfc.org.ph) and download the DTI P3 Loan Application or CARES loan form.
Fill out the application form and print a copy.
Submit your requirements and accomplished CARES Loan form to a designated SBC office or DTI Negosyo Center.
Wait for the loan application to be processed. This may take up to 12 business days.
What is the CARES Program under DTI Loans?
Because of the pandemic’s huge impact on businesses, DTI now offers the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises or DTI CARES program. CARES is part of the original P3 Program but it only caters to small and micro businesses economically affected by the lockdown.
CARES originally had a PHP 1 billion fund to help enterprises affected by the pandemic. The Bayanahinan 2 Bill, however, has allocated an additional PHP 10 billion for the CARES Program and other lending programs for micro and small businesses, cooperatives, and OFWs affected .
SBC Cares Program aim to:
Assist eligible businesses to restart operations through replacement of working capital
Replenish inventory of perishable stocks or damaged goods
Update the amortization for the vehicle or fixed-asset loans of the business
Encourage employment and innovation
How much can I loan from DTI Cares?
Here are the requirements for Micro Enterprise owners who wish to avail of the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart…
Here are the loan amount and terms you can request based on assets:
Micro enterprises with assets worth PHP 3 million or less
Amount: PHP 10,000 to PHP 50,000
Term: Up to 12 months excluding grace period
Small business with assets worth PHP 15 million
Amount: PHP 51,000 to PHP 500,000
Term: Up to 24 months excluding grace period
There is no interest rate for DTI loans submitted through CARES. However, there is a 6% service charge that needs to be paid. There is also a grace period of up to six months for the repayment of the capital.
DTI Cares Qualifications and Requirements
To be eligible for a DTI loan under CARES, you must fulfill the following:
Make sure the business is 100% Filipino-owned
Must be in operation for at least a year before March 16, 2020
Assets should not be over PHP 15 million, excluding the land where the business office or facility is located
Affected by the ECQ in Luzon or similar community quarantine areas in Visayas and Mindanao
Aside from these, you also need to submit the following requirements:
Accomplished loan application form and signature card
A government-issued ID with photo
Barangay certification of business
Proof of permanent business address
Additional requirements needed for CARES
These requirements are based on the loan amount you wish to borrow.
Loan amount of PHP 10,000 to PHP 50,000
Physical assets like kiosks, food cart, basic business equipment
Metro Alabang Finance and Loans Corporation (Muntinlupa City)
Radiowealth Finance Company (Mandaluyong City)
San Jose Workers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (San Jose, Batangas)
Which of the two DTI loans suit your business needs? The pandemic may have wreaked havoc for both employees and entrepreneurs, but DTI loans such as CARES and the P3 Program can help us. For more information about these services, you may visit the nearest SBC office or call the DTI P3 hotline at (02) 8651-33-33.
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