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PIA Press Release

SULONG gives big chunk of loan aid

by Jean D. Abangan

TAGUM CITY (9 May) -- The national lending program of the government has made a dent in local access to financing for small and medium entrepreneurs in Davao del Norte.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Provincial Office 2006 yearend report said a total of P33.757 million worth of loans were approved last year for 123 Small and Medium Scale Enterprises or SMEs.

The same report bared performance of the SME Unified Lending Opportunities for National Growth (SULONG) which extended in 2006 a total of P14.145 million worth of loans, generating 236 local jobs.

The SULONG program shared the largest chunk of about 50 percent of the loans approved within the year for SMEs in the province.

Other facilities that DTI-Davao del Norte recorded to have extended loans were the Business Resource Center-Seed Capital Assistance Program, Department of Labor and Employment-Poverty Freezone Program, and PROPEL Program for SME Development.

Much bigger chunk of loan assistance could be availed of by SMEs this year as the national government has earmarked P34 billion loan for SMEs and for micro-businesses through SULONG

Presidential Management Staff Director General Cerge Remonde said the financial assistance was being put up as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo “was moving to address concerns raised by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)after a survey conducted by the United Parcel Service Asia Business Monitor for 2007 showed that the Philippines and Indonesia were lagging behind in terms of economic growth.”

From 2004 to 2006, the national government provided SMEs with P91.35 billion in loans through SULONG. Since SULONG’s inception in 2003, a total of P117.9 billion has been lent out, according to Remonde.

MSMEs have gained focus and attention of both the local and the national government as the sector accounts 99.6 percent of all business establishments in the country, providing 32 percent value added to the economy and employing 70 percent of the workforce.

Small enterprises have assets valued at between P3 million and P15 million with 99 employees or less. Medium enterprises have assets of more than P15 million up to P100 million and hire from 100 to 199 employees. (PIA XI) [top]

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