To help SMEs affected by pandemic restart operations
THERE is an urgent need to extend financial assistance to small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country, particularly those severely affected by the global pandemic, to jumpstart the economy, according to the Chairman Emeritus of Angat Pinoy party-list.
Former Davao Del Norte governor and current Chairman Emeritus of multi-sectoral party-list Angat Pinoy, Anthony Del Rosario, in a DZRH radio program interview said it is crucial to provide SMEs, especially the ‘mom-and-pop’ sari-sari and convenience stores, access to national funds to help them restart their businesses and help bring back the economy to its pre-pandemic level.
“Prior to the pandemic, the trajectory of our GDP was going up, we were poised to be the leading country in Asia then, but due to COVID-19, our economy was severely affected,” Del Rosario said.
The AP chairman emeritus believes that the first country who can successfully turn their economy around will lead the region in the near future.
“Kung mabagal ang recovery natin, mahuhuli tayo sa pag-unlad muli, and the only way to recover is for the government to help the business sector, particularly the SMEs get back to its feet,” Del Rosario added.
About 99.5% of the country’s business sector is dominated by SMEs. Of this, about 88% are micro business enterprises, which generate about 60% employment in the country, the AP chairman emeritus said.
By extending help to the SMEs, there will be ripple effect, Del Rosario explained, adding that once employees of these enterprises start earning, they will have the purchasing power to spend on goods and local products that will in turn help jumpstart the economy.
Angat Pinoy’s main advocacy is to provide assistance to SMEs by being the ‘link’ for them to avail of available national government funds specifically allocated for the sector .
“The biggest problem of SMEs is they lack the expertise and skills to prepare documentary and legal requirements to have access to national funds, such as basic accounting and auditing skills, and preparing project proposals, to seek government financing,” Del Rosario said.
As part of its advocacy, Angat Pinoy, once it secures formal representation in Congress, the party-list will provide guidance and assistance to SMEs to have access the national funds.
For a start, the party-list launched last January 17 the Angat Pinoy Tulong Negosyo Program, that will provide grant of P10,000 for qualified SMEs.
“One of the problems of SMEs, which operate on a ‘hand-to-mouth’ business is the lack of funds. Karamihan sa kanila nauubos ang kinikita sa gastos sa pamilya, gamit sa school at ibang pang pangangailangan sa bahay kaya wala ng natitira para man lang magpa-xerox ng kailangan nilang dokumento to apply for government financing,” Del Rosario said.
“So naisip namin , bakit hindi natin bigyan ng interest-free grant ang mga ganitong SMEs, para makapag-umpisa uli sila ng maliit na negosyo na nahinto dahil sa pandemya,” the AP chairman emeritus added.
SMEs with CDA- approved coooperative or SEC-approved corporation, and have been operating for at least two years, are qualified for the Angat Pinoy Tulong Negosyo Program.
They need to submit a project proposal for the use of the P10,000 grant. Other requirements to avail of the grant can be found in Angat Pinoy website and Facebook account.
Besides the SMEs, Angat Pinoy party-list will also be focusing on the welfare of women, especially single parents, as well as Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), particularly those who lost their overseas jobs and returned home and looking for employment.