Banks urged to lower interests on loans of MSMEs

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The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, requested all banking institutions in the city to lower the interest rates of loans for micro, small and medium scale industries to help fuel the vibrance of the city’s economy that was heavily impacted by the wrath of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) over the past six months.

In a resolution, city legislators underscored that the different banking institutions have a vital role in propelling the economy forward through their financial capability and technical expertise, especially in providing the needed capitalization that will allow the business sector to regain the vibrance of the city’s economy and sustain the growth and development of the city.

The council added that banking institutions operating in the city should grant loans with lower interest rates to encourage the different business enterprises to propel, particularly those that were significantly affected by the slowing down of economic activities following the implementation of the Luzonwide lockdown, especially the micro, small and medium scale industries.

Further, the council stipulated that the more money that circulates, the faster will the national and local economy recover which is now the call of the times after prevailing community quarantine has been downgraded from the previous enhanced community quarantine to modified general community quarantine.

Earlier, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) issued BSP Circular No. 1082, series of 2020 that approved the reduction in the reserved requirement ratios of deposit and deposit substitute liabilities of universal and commercial banks and non-bank financial institutions with quasi-banking functions that will result to an increase excess of liability of banks which must be unleashed to fund the engine of economic recovery.

The approval of the resolution is part of the initiative of the city government to extend assistance, aside from the local version of the stimulus package, to help the heavily impacted micro, small and medium enterprises recover from the serious negative effect of the implementation of the Luzonwide lockdown that virtually stopped most of the economic activities causing many people to be jobless over the past several months.

Based on the data from the City Permits and Licensing Division, there are more than 23,000 businesses in the city that were issued permits for this year where more than 20,000 are classified to be micro enterprises, more than 2,400 are considered to be small enterprises and less than 1,000 are said to be medium enterprises.

Under the Baguio Revitalization Actions for a Vibrant Economy – Economic Stimulus Package (BRAVE-ESP), the city government earmarked some P100 million from its Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) operations to be loaned out to interested business establishments needing additional capitalization to recover from the economic slump created by the lockdown.

The city eventually tapped the services of the Small Business Corporation (SBC), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to assist the city government in the screening qualified applicants for the interest-free loans that will be provided to the impacted businesses for them to be able to contribute in perking up the local economy and create jobs for displace workers. By Dexter A. See