MANILA, Philippines — Instead of several government agencies offering various assistance packages to micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) badly hit by the pandemic, why not pool their funds into one financing facility?
Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson said this would make it easier for MSMEs to seek assistance, whether they were affected by the pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, climate change, or other calamities.
Lacson said he and his vice presidential bet, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, intend to set up such a mechanism should they be elected into office.
“Ang iniisip namin ni Senate President Sotto rito, i-streamline natin. Bakit di natin i-pool sa isang pondo kung saan ilagak natin para alam ng MSME na tinamaan ng pandemya o anumang crisis, giyerang Russia sa Ukraine, sa climate change, kalamidad, meron agad silang pupuntahan na ahensya kung saan accessible sila (Senate President Sotto and I were thinking, why not pool all these into one fund to help MSMEs, whether they are hit by the pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, climate change, or other calamities? The bottom line is they will know where to seek assistance)?” Lacson said at the “Kandidatalks” program aired Wednesday on One PH.
He noted MSMEs account for 99.5 percent of our enterprises, and 63.2 percent of our labor force.
Yet, he said that while various government agencies have at least 20 programs including microfinancing and credit facilities, MSMEs may not be aware of them.
Lacson said he and Sotto were surprised to learn that there are such programs under the Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Agriculture, among others.
Worse, he said many MSMEs resort to borrowing from private banks because they did not fully understand the requirements to avail of government assistance.
“Isip namin ni SP, streamline natin (Senate President Sotto and I are thinking of streamlining all this),” he said.