Gov't sets P34 billion for MSMEs thru SULONG
Manila (25 April) -- The Arroyo government will provide another =P=34 billion for loans to the micro, small, medium enterprises (SMEs) under the 2007 national budget to further spur economic development and to further allay worries of some MSMEs. A survey released by the United Parcel Service (UPS) Asia Business Monitor, disclosed concerns of some MSMEs on government support to the sector, access to funds and capital, transportation and infrastructure and supply chain efficiency.
Presidential Management Staff (PMS) director general Secretary Cerge Remonde, in his weekly press briefing on Monday said, the loans will be coursed through the SME Unified Lending Opportunities for National Growth (SULONG).
Remonde said SULONG has become the engine of growth and development for the country, as a total of P91.35 billion had been provided by the government as SME loans since 2004 to 2006, of which millions of active micro, small, medium enterprises (MSME) clients have availed loans from various banks and government-recognized lending institutions.
The Bangko Sentral has also encouraged the local banking sector to increase their SME loan packages, Remonde also said, aside from the government's deployment of hosts of initiatives over the years, "ranging from direct assistance to indirect intervention, to support the SME sector."
He added that "the BSP has lowered its reserve requirements for rural banks, relaxed rules to lower capital requirements to operate a foreign currency deposit units (FCDUs) and provided liquidity for banks to refinance loans and to further encourage banks to help MSMEs."
Data shows that the MSME sector provides 32 percent to the Philippine economy, employing 70 percent of the whole workforce nationwide.
Other forms of government's direct assistance to MSMEs are classified into: credit access and guarantees, product development and technology intervention, training and marketing support, and advocacy.
On the direct intervention, Remonde said, the 2.44-million active MSMEs stand to benefit from the government's Comprehensive Integrated Infrastructure Program which aims to construct, rehabilitate and expand roads, bridges, airports, seaports and railway systems that will enable faster, cheaper and more efficient exchange of goods and services. (aca PIA 12) [top]